Edward Knapp's Reviews > The Tale of Peter Rabbit

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
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M_50x66
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Sep 04, 12

Read on September 04, 2012

The Tale of Peter Rabbit is a simple yet wonderfully crafted story of a curious and mischievous rabbit who decides to ignore his Mother’s strict warning about entering the garden of Mr McGregor, despite the reminder of Peter’s father being made into a pie for doing the very same thing. (A fact that is nonchalantly mentioned in this children’s book). After Peter and his three sisters were sent to collect blackberries he heads directly to the forbidden garden and starts to feast on all the wonderful vegetables the garden has to offer. Having over eaten Peter goes in search of some parsley to settle his stomach only to stumble across the rabbit pie baker Mr McGregor, who chases Peter with a rake. Peter is nearly caught on several occasions but narrowly avoids capture escaping the raspberry net, tool shed and avoids a cat.
Eventually the young tired rabbit manages to make his way back to the gate and find his way to his mother, the exertions of the day means Peter has to go to bed early with some Camomile tea to recover whilst his three sisters enjoyed bread, milk and blackberries for supper.

Beatrix Potter has created a character which children can easily relate to. In the mind of a child there is nothing more appealing than doing the complete opposite to that which is expressly forbidden, Peter Rabbit is no exception to this rule as he immediately does the opposite of what he is told. The plot of the story is a simple one, Mother warns child, child ignores Mother, child is nearly caught, and child eventually manages to evade capture, however the story is so enchanting and well told that it is one of the most famous in the world. The contrast between his three well behaved sisters is a strict reminder to children that doing what one is told is the correct thing to do and will lead to good things, conversely doing what you are told not to do can lead to bad things happening and Peter’s story is a stern reminder to do what you are told.

Despite the story being aimed to children around the age of seven or eight it still manages, with help of the wonderful illustrations, to create fear, suspense, discouragement and eventual relief when Peter manages to find his way home. My only gripe with the story, and it is a small gripe, is the inclusion of the demise of the Peter’s father. I am aware that this story was written over one hundred years ago, however, not entirely sure how comfortable eight year olds, a century ago or now, are when reading such horrific news. Having said that the story has become one of the most famous of all time and is a massive hit all around the world, so children clearly don’t find it that distressing at all. This book is excellent to read as an individual and also within a group, the simple writing style contrasted with the emotion of the story will grip children and encourage them to read, ultimately improving their language skills and hopefully encouraging them to read more books. An all time classic, excellent book and one of my favourites.
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