Bill Peet: An Autobiography

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Bill Peet tells his life story, including his years with Disney, with illustrations on every page.

The well-known author and illustrator relates the story of his life and work.

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Bill Peet tells his life story, including his years with Disney, with illustrations on every page.

The well-known author and illustrator relates the story of his life and work.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An excellent blend of verbal and visual social history and self-revelation." Kirkus Reviews
Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
In between Bill Peet's childhood and his success as a children's book author/artist was a 27-year stint at Walt Disney Studios. His anecdotes of those days and his contributions to the Disney output are among the most enjoyable of all.
School Library Journal
Gr 3 Up-- Peet's long shelf of popular picture books are familiar to library patrons; his long career as an artist for the Disney studios may not be so well-known. All of this and more is covered in this enthusiastic and heart-felt autobiography. The format is similar to James Stevenson's When I Was Nine (Greenwillow, 1986)--a picture book with autobiographical text and profuse illustrations in the familiar style of the author/subject--but while Stevenson describes only a short period in his life, Peet starts with his earliest memories and continues up to the present. Beginning with a traditional Midwestern town and country boyhood, the book follows Peet through high school, into art school, on to local prizes for his paintings, and eventually to an invitation to ``audition'' for the Disney studios, where he eventually worked on Snow White , Dumbo , Sleeping Beauty , and many more films. At the same time, he struggled at home with the picture-book format for his art, finding himself with reams of picture stories but at a loss for words to accompany them. Every page of this oversized book is illustrated with Peet's unmistakable black-and-white drawings of himself and the people, places, and events described in the text. Familiar characters from his books and movies appear often. The fascinating subject matter will encourage readers to finish the lengthy text. The pictures tell their own story and can be appreciated on many levels. An excellent choice for inspiring young gifted and talented students as well as for general readers. --Susan L. Rogers, Chestnut Hill Academy, Pa.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395689820
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 3/28/1994
  • Edition description: None
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 217,409
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Bill Peet was the author of 34 books published by Houghton Mifflin. One of these, BILL PEET: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY, was named a 1989 Caldecott Honor Book. All of Bill Peet’s books published by Houghton Mifflin Company, including his first book for children published in 1959, HUBERT'S HAIR-RAISING ADVENTURE, remain actively in print today.

In both his career as an author and illustrator of children’s books and in his work as sketch artist and continuity illustrator at Walt Disney, Bill Peet created a menagerie of memorable characters. As he himself noted, "I write about animals because I love to draw them. Most of my animal characters have human personalities, and some are much like the people I know."

At Walt Disney, where Bill Peet worked for 27 years, he was a key participant in the production of classic films such as Fantasia, Sleeping Beauty, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and 101 Dalmatians for which he was not only an artist, but the screenwriter as well.

Bill Peet’s signature style enabled him to create fast-paced stories of fantastical adventure delivered with warmth and laugh-out-loud hilarity. His unfailing humor did not, however, prevent him from addressing such poignant issues as kindness toward others and respect for the environment. Through the exploits of his characters, Peet offered his audience a chance to see themselves and their world through new eyes.

"At some point," Bill Peet once said, "it occurred to me that drawing was something I couldn’t possibly give up, and somehow it must be turned into a profession." He went on to not only fulfill his dream but to introduce generations of young readers to his delightful vision of humor, friendship and compassion.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2010

    Bill Peet's an autobiography, fantastic!!

    Personally I loved Bill Peet's an autobiography. What first made me want to read this book was the exciting cover and fun pictures. I also had never heard of Bill Peet before so I wanted to about him. When i discovered he had worked for Disney on the very films I loved, he was my new hero! Bill Peet had many hardships through out his life. When he was a child his father traveled around so his mother and grandmother raised him. His father would annually stop in just for money. It was hard enough until his grandmother died from a sudden heart attack. Bill didn't like school all too much. He loved to doodle in class though! In high school he failed all his classes but P.E. Until he began to draw again. He picked up art classes once again and it was a breeze. He went to art school and became an amazing artist. He entered a few paintings into local fairs and won. But he knew he couldn't live on this pay forever, especially with his new girl friend and soon to be wife, Margaret. So he moved out to Los Angeles, California for a in-betweener position at Disney Studios. The work he did for Disney was tedious and he didn't like it. Just as he was about to leave Disney for good, he discovered that they had moved him up to story department. While here he worked on feature films and animation. He did this for Disney for many years producing countless drawings. Off to the side he wrote story books and illustrated them for children. His favorite, about a pig named Chester, related to his life very similarly. Bill Peet has had many highs and lows in his life as everyone else has, but he's truly been extraordinary. It's a fantastic read and I think you should try it out, no matter your age.

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  • Posted December 15, 2009

    Entertaining autobiography for all ages!!

    Bill Peet: an autobiography is a very entertaining autobiography. Usually, autobiographies are very straight-forward, but this auto biography was a very entertaining, fun, and interesting book to read. I think that this book is for all ages. Child to Seniors. Bill Peet has great illustrations throughout every page of the book. At first, I went to the library and got this book for a project. It looked very thick, but once I looked inside, it looked entertaining. In every page there was a paragraph that filled half the page and a drawing to go with the paragraph. This book not only was a easy read, but it wasn't boring like other autobiographies. Bill Peet had a very interesting life, so it was fun to read the autobiography.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2007

    Life lessons for kids of all ages

    My daughter (age 6) is a huge fan of Bill Peet's books. When I saw that he wrote an autobiography, I thought it would be nice for her to expand her interest in both Peet and his books. What I got was magic. Peet incorprates many life lessons into his book using language and perspective that a young child can relate to. Peet had to go to 4 publishers before Hurbert's Hair Raising Adventure was published. She looked at me and said 'If he gave up, I would not have favorite books!' She was surprised to learn that Peet was involved in her favorite Disney movies as well. As a parent, all I see is the commercialism of Disney - it was a joy for me to have the spirit of a character brought back to life. Reading Peet's books over and over again is even more fun now!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2004

    good book!!

    very good book for children i am 14 and i love it!!for an aoutobiography it is awsome and never boring even though a little short but very very very very good book!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2000

    An entertaining autobiography for everyone

    This is one of the most entertaining books I have ever read. I grew up reading his stories & watching Disney movies, which he worked on for many years, and I was thrilled to learn about Bill Peet's work on some of the most famous movies. I recomend this book to anyone, any age! (I have read it 3 times myself already!) :)

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