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on December 17, 2010
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.
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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.
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on June 27, 2005
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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on October 27, 2013
This review is regarding the poor printing quality of the books that are currently being sold.

Message to Amazon:I just ordered the presentation 23-box set and several individual books. The books are all printed in China. The quality of the printing is so poorly done that I am returning $200 worth of books. I am writing to ask if this is the new standard of publishing for Beatrix Potter books. I am working on a graduate paper and have purchased a large number of books written by Judy Taylor, Margaret Lane, and Leslie Linder--all experts in the work of Beatrix Potter. I purchased the complete set of books and individual ones so that I can compare the different editions with the original privately edition printed in 1901, the first Frederick Warne & Co. published edition in 1902, the centenary edition published in 2002, and the 110th edition published in 2012. There is a huge difference in the printing quality in paper texture and color quality with the recent new editions being sold by Amazon. The earlier new printings Amazon sold have an almost satin quality to them. The later ones have a rough almost grainy texture. The printing on all the recent editions appears as if they were printed on machines with low toner. The text and picture colors appear faded as if printed by amateurs. The quality is unbelievably poor!

Is there a quality control on these books? Is anyone checking to make sure that what is being sent to customers is a standard that you approve of? From all my research on Beatrix Potter, I understand she wanted to have the books printed as cheaply as possible to be able to reach as many children as possible, but 111 years later, we should expect a higher quality than what is being published opposed to even one year ago. Children and adults deserve a much better quality that is being produced at this time in China.

February 28, 1938, Beatrix Potter gave advice to Josephine and Delmar Banner regarding publication of their artwork. Rather than to have their work reproduced badly, she advised them to redesign the pages to allow for current publishing practices because, "Children deserve the best" (Letters 387).

Can you assure me that the quality of the books you sell are good quality and not these poorly printed editions?

Can someone follow-up with me to see what is being done about the poor quality of these books being sold on Amazon.com? Read the reviews and you will see this is a huge problem. I am a loyal Amazon customer. You can tell by my order history. You always stand behind the quality of your merchandise. I hope you will investigate and require answers from the vendors you are purchasing these books from. If this a problem with Penguin publishers in UK, they need to step up and implement a review of their quality control practices. I have also emailed Penguin Publishers in UK.
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on August 1, 2013
I purchased this for our newborn son, as a "First Easter" gift. He is too young to enjoy it especially, but the quality of the book and the plush Peter Rabbit leaves nothing to be desired! I know that I will cherish this for years to come, if our son doesn't! I was really impressed with the quality and presentation, especially considering the price. And the tale is just such a classic!
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on March 28, 2013
Cons:
If you think you are getting a large book, you are not.
Images seem less vibrant than other versions.

Pros:
It is small and good for little hands to manipulate.
It is cost effective for emerging readers and small children.
It has a dust cover.
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on February 10, 2008
Even though our grandkids already have a copy of the original Peter Rabbit, this book is for adults and children to enjoy together. It has pop-ups, pull-outs, and fold-outs, and an absolutely splendid "net" trap with poor Peter Rabbit in it. The book requires either an older child or an adult on hand because, as with most pop-ups, a younger child can rip the tabs and illustrations.
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on March 26, 2008
Bought this to go with a hand knit baby coat that had Beatrice Potter characters on the buttons. The book and little stuffed rabbit were a very nice addition to the gift, Mom-to-be loved it. This would be a lovely stocking stuffer for a new baby or a nice shower gift. Book and Peter Rabbit are sized for a little one's hands.
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on May 11, 2013
This is a really cute product and I ordered it for Easter, but the actual plastic packaging around the book & blanket made it look cheap because the plastic was scratched and cloudy. That would be my only complaint, hence the 4 stars, however, it was for a baby's first Easter, so I took the blanket and book out of the package and put it in an Easter basket. Perfect solution and thanks to the poor packaging, it came out even cuter.
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on April 2, 2009
Great size to carry around in your bag and have handy for "anytime" reading. Small plush Peter rabbit is both soft and adorable. Just the right size for very young child.
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