on April 30, 2004
Caveat: Now if you're in the market to buy "The Tale of Peter Rabbit", I highly recommend that you do NOT purchase the horrendous version illustrated by David McPhail. This interesting monstrosity takes a book that was previous perfect and renders it perverse. I am reviewing the original Beatrix Potter edition of this tale, but because Amazon.com doesn't like to differentiate reviews, I'm fairly certain that this review will also appear for the McPhail book as well. Please, dear readers, do not in any way shape or form purchase the McPhail version if you want the original adept "Peter Rabbit"! Where Potter is adept and charming, McPhail is syrupy and doe-eyed. Where Potter is subtle, McPhail is over the top. Where Potter succeeds, McPhail fails. To locate an original edition of "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" click on the author "Beatrix Potter" as it appears at the top of this screen. That should bring you to a selection of choices, one of which is the original "The Tale of Peter Rabbit". Oddly, the only way to purchase that particular original version of the tale is to select her name. I don't know why. Call it a flaw in the Amazon.com system, if you will.
Now, why doesn't Peter Rabbit age? I'm not being literal here, people, so please don't inundate me with explanations that patiently explain that fictional characters in books cannot get old. I won't hear a word of it. Reading "Peter Rabbit" today is just as fresh and new an experience as it was one hundred years ago. Author Beatrix Potter created the story of Peter Rabbit for a young boy with whom she was acquainted. Using the novel idea of drawing animals as they appeared in nature, just in funny clothes and talking, her books are remarkable because she had a dual talent for both illustration and clever narrative. Now after all these years I opened up "Peter Rabbit" to see why I loved it as much as I did as a kid. And the fact of the matter is, it hasn't aged a smidgen. A remarkable and astounding feat for a story originally published in 1903.
Peter lives, as many of us know, in a large fir tree with his mother and his siblings Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail. His father was baked in a pie (a fact that many parents have decried as too dark for children, and that many children have shrugged at without a second thought). Though instructed by his mother NOT to go digging in Mr. McGregor's garden, he's a naughty little thing. His tasty trip is brought up short, however, when he stumbles across the farmer himself. In the course of their chase Peter loses his little blue jacket with the shiny brass buttons and must return to his mother (after a series of close shaves) without it or his shoes. He is promptly put to bed with a cup of camomile tea (a fate we non-camomile tea drinkers must assume is harsh) while his siblings eat the tasty blackberries they picked that morning.
Beatrix Potter claimed that though she was adept at illustrating animals, she had the darndest time (my words, not hers) drawing people. You will note, therefore, that Mr. McGregor is a bit of a featureless wag. The story was remarkable in that it was the first time (I believe) that animals drawn in a picture book actually looked like real animals. Peter is exactly the kind of bunny you'd expect to catch in your yard, except that he's occasionally wearing jaunty spring wear. The similarities in this tale to that of the Brer Rabbit tales of the American South is interesting but due to the fact that Potter was writing this story in 1903 Britain, she probably didn't steal the plot. The book is a classic in the purest sense, of course. If you can get a copy that is small (intended from the start to be the size that little hands could open easily) do. It's a beautiful tale that is as fresh and green today as it was when written long long ago. A classic.
on November 8, 2003
Four rabbit children are told to pick berries by their mother, who also warns the rabbits not to go near Mr. McGregor's garden. Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottaintale obey their mother, but Peter, the mischievous of the four rabbits, ignores his mother's warning and ventures off for some tasty food from Mr. McGregor's garden. While Peter is greedily eating some radishes, he is spotted by Mr. McGregor. Peter tries to dash out of Mr. McGregor's way, only getting further and further away from the garden gate. Will Peter get away from Mr. McGregor, and find his way out of the garden? What will happen when his mother hears what he has done?
I have loved this story since I was little, probably because any child can relate to Peter's mischievous ways. I have not met a child who could not attest to getting in over their heads after doing something they were told not to do. Beatrix Potter does an amazing job illustrating this well known tale. She brings life to the characters with her beautifully detailed illustrations. The illustrations have soft lines and curves to give a pleasant fell to the story. The pictures go along with the pages of the story as well as adding detail to the reader's mind about the plot and setting. The reader can see the vastness of the garden by looking at Beatrix Potter's illustrations.
The author's ability to suspend disbelief is not very great, because of the nature of the story. This story is made to be a fairy tale, which is not usually believable to children or adults. Children are accustomed to talking animals in stories at the age they would read this book. However, the plot of the story is very realistic to the child. It is realistic because the child can relate to disobeying their parent, and getting into trouble of some sort. They can also relate to the punishment that Peter gets at the end of the story.
on December 10, 2002
Peter Rabbit is one of four rabbits in his family. Very much curious as well as disobedient, Peter decides to wonder off into Mr. McGregor's garden. He has heard the warning given to him by his mother of what Mr. McGregor does to curious, wandering rabbits. Peter slips away from his brother's and sister's while they play in the fields and decides to see this wonderful garden. While in the garden, Peter fills his stomach with delicious carrots, lettuce and other various vegetables. While eating, Mr. McGregor finds the somewhat stuffed rabbit and chases him around his garden. Peter, realizing the mistake he made, only wishes to be free, that he might not make the same mistake again. This book is very well written and can capture the heart of even the oldest person. Filled with detailed pictures, Peter comes to life in this classic tale of tales.
on January 28, 2007
In examining a book such as Peter Rabbit, it is important that
the superficial chracteristics of its deceptively simple plot
should not be allowed to blind the reader to the more substancial
fabric of its deeper motivations. In this report I plan to discuss the sociological implications of family pressures so
great as to drive an otherwise moral rabbit to
perform acts of thievery which he consciously knew were
against the law. I also hope to explore the personlaity of Mr.
Macgregor in his comflicting roles as farmer and humanitarian.
Not to mention the extreme pressure exterted on him
bu his deeply rooted rivalry with Flopsy, Mopsy and
on October 10, 2015
The book was meh. It's a classic so maybe i'm missing something. I purchased the hard cover but would have liked something bigger with larger illustrations (this book is very small in size and has 35 pages, front and back with small illustrations on every other page). My son could not get immersed into it. He's 3+. I'd recommend something like Gruffalo or The Very Cranky Bear if you haven't added that to your toddler collection. This may be a classic but the story, illustrations, and size of the book are very underwhelming. Be sure to check the product size. I was expecting a decent size book for 8 bucks like others around this price are.