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BILL PEET: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY

 
 

"I drew for hours at a time just for the fun of it, and yet I was hoping to find some practical reason to draw for the rest of my life. But when I entered grade school, my drawing habit suddenly became a problem."

 
BIO COVER

ABOVE, AN EARLY VERSION OF COVER

My father's fans often suggested ideas for stories. "One boy asked, 'Why don't you write about you and call it All about Bill Peet?" My dad had a couple of ideas for stories of his life. One was based on family pets and other animals in his life and was titled Lions, Chickens, Dogs, Frogs, Gnats, Cats and Kittens.

 
             

Bill had also written a description of his story writing process, to answer the many questions from fans about how he made his books, which he titled Thinking Small. Bill Peet had submitted to his publisher a rough draft of the story of his experience at Disney studios, tentatively titled Walt and WE, which stood for Walter Elias (Disney). The publisher suggested Bill expand this story to include more about his life, so he combined all of these efforts into his autobiography. His approach to his autobiography was the same as his approach to his other stories. There is an illustration on every page accompanied by text that describes his feelings and thoughts. An illustrated autobiography was only natural since drawing was so central to my father's life. He decided to leave out some of the unhappy parts of his life and things he thought would not be appropriate for his younger readers. Go to Bill Peet's Story for a short autobiography.

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

In this sketch, Bill recalled a wreck he witnessed at Indianapolis Raceway where, on race day, he changed lap numbers on the score board or sold newspapers. Bill Peet, Jr.

Bill at work in his studio.

 

"We came upon the race car half buried in the earth with its wheels ripped off and no sign of the driver. Then staggering out of the woods he came, in a daze, but only slightly hurt. The lucky fellow had been hurled from the car without hitting a tree, and evidently landed in the brush with no more that a few scratches and bruises."

 
Copyright 1989 by William Peet, Houghton Mifflin Co. Boston
 
 
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