The Secret of Bowring Park
|October 30, 2018||Posted by admin under Canadian, Children's Lit, Fairy Tales|
Publication date: May 2018
Reviewed posted: October 30, 2018
The Secret of Bowring Park is a fictional children’s book that centres around two sisters and the real-life Peter Pan statue situated in beautiful Bowring Park, St. John’s. The sisters (ages 14 and 8) are visiting the park one late afternoon. Elizabeth spends her time reading on a bench while trying to keep an eye on her younger sister, Natalie, who is playing make-believe with Peter Pan and his friends. She is adorable and their sisterly bond is a typical one. While Natalie doesn’t have a care in the world, Elizabeth keeps reminding her of their curfew. But just before they head home for the day, Natalie plays with Peter Pan and his friends one last time. As she turns to leave, she sees something that couldn’t possibly happen. Elizabeth, of course, doesn’t believe her … until she returns to the park a little while later to retrieve Natalie’s beloved stuffed dog, Ruffles, and witnesses first hand the magic her little sister still holds so dearly.
I adored this story. I adored these sisters. And I adored the magic captured within the pages. The book is wonderfully written, flowing easily from one page to the next. The bright, colourful illustrations are whimsical, playful, and can spark imaginations. At 27 pages of story, the book is probably targeted toward the 5 to 12-year-old population. But it a great story for families to bond over too and is a sweet bed-time (or anytime) story for little ones. The only downside, I think, is that the story ended and readers may want more — more of Elizabeth and Natalie and more of the story of Peter Pan.
True Confession: I live about 30 minutes away from Bowring Park but have only visited a handful of times. I didn’t have a true appreciation for the legend of the Peter Pan statue growing up. But this story reminds me of the innocence of childhood and of believing in fairy tales and happily-ever-after. And maybe, just maybe, we all need to be reminded of the kind of magic many of us only experience in childhood.
For more information about this book, visit the publisher’s website here.