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The Big Box of Bright and Early Board Books About Me Adapted for babies and toddlers from Dr. Seuss's Bright and Early book line, each of these books is filled with rhymes and clear, colorful illustrations. See more | More Seuss
A tale that stands the test of time -- Mother of Emily, aged 20 months Mother & Baby 20090701 A beautifully illustrated family book -- Mother of Amelia, 22 months Mother & Baby 20090701
--This text refers to the Board book edition.
About the Author
Written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter (1866-1943). Her passion for the natural world lay behind the creation of her famous little books. A particular source of inspiration was the Lake District where she lived for the last thirty years of her life as a farmer and conservationist.
Beatrix Potter (1866-1943)was a writer and illustrator. The Lake District where she lived for the last thirty years of her life as a farmer and conservationist was a particular source of her inspiration, and her passion for the natural world lay behind the creation of her famous little books.
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.Read more ›
Although it's presented as if it were "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" by Beatrix Potter, this is actually a HEAVILY edited version that bears little resemblance to the original. It's terrible. Compare, for instance, a passage from Beatrix Potter's original "Peter Rabbit":
"Peter was most dreadfully frightened; he rushed all over the garden, for he had forgotten the way back to the gate. He lost one of his shoes among the cabbages, and the other shoe amongst the potatoes. After losing them, he ran on four legs and went faster, so that I think he might have got away altogether if he had not unfortunately run into a gooseberry net, and got caught by the large buttons on his jacket. It was a blue jacket with brass buttons, quite new."
In this board-book version, this becomes: "Peter was very frightened. He rushed all over the garden and lost both his shoes. Then he tripped and got caught in a net."
All of the charm of the original story has been lost, replaced with a clunky and hamfisted summary of events. It's like the Cliff Notes version of "Peter Rabbit." It's ridiculous--the original story is already short, and has been beloved by small children for generations. There was NO NEED to butcher Beatrix Potter this way.
I purchased this book for our daughter when she was about 6 months old but she wasn't at all interested in it, unlike 95% of our other purchases. Then at about 12 months she picked it out for me to read it to her, and it has increasingly become a favorite. I think the reason she didn't like it earlier on was, ironically, the same reason I readily purchased it - the beautiful watercolor illustrations. While they are very beautiful, they are somewhat muted resulting in a look that blurs all of the detail together. Of course, this is just a guess. At any rate, she now very much enjoys this book, and anticipates the action, such as Peter sneezing, or the "scr-r-ritch, scratch" of a hoe. Board books with a storyline are somewhat more difficult to find than the counting, color, alphabet, opposites, etc. kind, and my daughter has always definitely enjoyed stories. Additionally, this book teaches us there are repercussions for our actions, but in a tone that is mild and appropriate for young toddlers. If this is what you're looking for, and you're not looking for storybooks for a younger baby, this would be an excellent choice.
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For those with very young children who love to read, the Penguin Books series of the original and authorized edition of Beatrix Potter's classic tales are as appropriate as they can be. My 3 year old prefers books sized perfectly for his small hands, and the fact that each tale is here reproduced one book at a time (as opposed to treasuries and collections in one tome) makes it all the more appealing to him.
Beatrix Potter doesn't shy away from more difficult words to tell her story, respecting the ability of children to absorb all kinds of material at an early age. The illustrations in the Frederick Warne and Company Original Edition are just right in detail and tone, neither overwhelming nor detracting from the text.
The story of a naughty young rabbit who decides to disobey his mother by trespassing into Mr. McGregor's garden is told with a sensitivity to the reality of the lives of animals that is rare in today's children's books. It doesn't go out of its way to recite platitudes, contenting itself to simply telling the story of what happens when young Peter finds himself lost in the farmer's garden, in grave danger of turning into rabbit pie like his father before him, and with nothing but his wits to save him. It's a great story about the consequences of disobedience and the importance of courage, that is, not giving up however dire the situation may be. It makes for great discussions during and after readings, and the straightforward events that resonate in the physical world of children makes a wonderful springboard for encouraging tots to retell the story in their own words.
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