Peter and the Starcatchers is a prequel to Peter Pan. It explains how Peter acquired the ability to fly, became eternally young and it introduces us to Tinkerbelle.
Initially we meet Peter as he and a group of other orphans from St Norbert’s Home for Wayward Boys board a ship bound for Rundoon where they are to become servants to King Zarboff the Third. On board the ship, the Never Land, is a mysterious box containing precious dust that only Starcatchers can use for righteous purposes and which must be kept from the hands of the Others, who will not use it well. Peter forms an alliance with Molly, a girl around his own age, who is a Starcatcher, and together they endeavour to keep the box from falling into the wrong hands, especially those of pirate Captain Stache (yes, he loses a hand at the end of the book).
Jointly written by Barry and Pearson using email, this jolly romp might well form a useful introduction to Peter Pan. It contains all the expected set scenes involving boys, ships, evil seamen, pirates, a desert island, and for good measure, talking dolphins. To my mind it would have benefited from being more tightly written and therefore shorter, but younger readers may not agree. There are certainly those who will relish the extravagant action and not worry about the clichéd nature of much of the story. Very nicely illustrated by Greg Call.