Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Bill Peet Books

I haven't had the chance to see any of Bill Peet's life drawing (from a nude model), but Milt Kahl told me way back that "they knock your socks off." Milt was a huge fan of Peet and his storyboard work for Disney. As were all of the animators.

Heritage Auctions offered this concept piece for the cover of his 1989 autobiography a while back. The final version for the book removes the artist from the composition. What an outstanding storyteller, at Disney as well as in his "Childrens' Books". (They can be enjoyed by adults as well.)

Peet started to illustrate books in 1959, while still working at the studio. His first book was "Hubert's Hair-Raising-Adventure". 

Here is the Wikipedia link to Peet's life and work:


I am just so thrilled to have met him, and I recall our lively conversation during the reception of my wire sculptures exhibit at Disney in 1989:




  1. I think this is the first time I've read of Milt praising somebody else in such a frank manner!

    To me, of all the Nine Old Men, Milt seems the most interesting character.

    Intimidating, but fascinating.

    Sorry I ended up commenting on Kahl rather than Peet!

  2. I bet that Milt Kahl left Disney after "Rescuers" because he felt that the stories of the last few films didn't have that significant touch that Bill Peet had. Am I right?

  3. It's a shame Bill Peet is only really remembered by some Disney buffs who delve into the obscure and forgotten parts of Disney history and those of us who grew up with his books. He's one of the great children's authors and it's a shame he's been forgotten and his books are no longer in print

  4. I have this book! But with a different cover. I have a lot of his books and used to read them to my class when I taught second grade!

    1. „...and used to read them to my class when I thaught second grade!“ :)

      My mother didn't really like to read to us. She prefer to read regularly the newspaper (especially the death notes – for a long conversation with her sister on the phone).
      My father hates books and reading (I had to read the TV Guide to him).

      I know how important it is to read to a class or to a group of kids. Because it was very important to me!
      Thank you so much! :)

      In Germany the kids have to learn English to read all of Bill Peets books!
      You can currently buy only one book of Bill Peet in German language „Buffo, das kleine Bergschaf“...

    2. I liked his books because in addition to to the great illustrations, he actually uses a wide variety of vocabulary, and it's a great tool to teach looking words up in dictionary's or using context clues to decipher new words.

    3. Yes, that's not a problem for the older kids! :)
      But when they learn to do it alone they start to translate punk-rock songs and roleplaying games. And they prefer to translate the english texts with a cell phone. :)
      I mean in Germany the kids start to learn englisch professonally very late.
      So I understand why I can't get any of Bill Peets english books in all libraries in my area!
      I like children books. And I started to read to my daughter when she was two years old!
      I wanted to show her how wonderful books an art are. In the end it seems for me that all parents don't have enough years to show it! And I fighted a long time against too much multimedia!

      I really appreciate your answer! :)
      Thank you! :)

  5. Peet's evolution as an artist and draughtsman is a warning against the dangers of "functional" drawing.

  6. „I haven't had the chance to see any of Bill Peet's life drawing (from a nude model), but Milt Kahl told me way back that „they knock your socks off.“ „
    Woww, how great this nudes have to be! I would like to see them, too! :)

    „What an outstanding storyteller, at Disney as well as in his „Childrens' Books“.“
    I wanted and I still would like to read all of his books. And it is a shame that I don't read any of them. :(

    In March 6, 1989 I was eleven years old. At that age, I wouldn't have understood what Bill Peet was saying anyway. :D ;)
    But today I would like to ask „Dr. Who“ if we can use the „Tardis“! ;)

    Thank you for posting! :)