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Best Beatrix Potter books


Beatrix Potter was a prolific writer who put pen to paper to create an incredible 23 different children’s novels. Potter’s works have endured for more than a century, and her loveable characters remain some of the most popular children’s characters of all time. From Beatrix Potter soft toys to Beatrix Potter figurines, her characters are so well-known that you will find their faces everywhere. But what of the original stories?

If you would like to introduce your children to the wonderful world of Beatrix Potter but don’t know where to start then here are five of the best Beatrix Potter books for modern kids. Add them to your library and start sharing the magic of Beatrix Potter at home together:

The Tale of Peter Rabbit

Peter Rabbit is the most famous and iconic of Beatrix Potter’s characters. There are more Beatrix Potter figurines of Peter than of any other character, which is testament to just how much he is loved by children and adults alike. His story is also one of the best and most exciting that Beatrix Potter wrote.

The story follows mischievous Peter, who is warned to stay out of Mr McGregor’s vegetable patch, lest he end up in a pie like his father did. Of course, Peter can’t resist the lure of these radishes and we follow him on his adventure, before he escapes and returns home to his mother. It is a surprisingly fast-paced romp for its era, and one that children are sure to enjoy.

The Tale of Jemima Puddle-duck

The Tale of Jemima Puddle-duck was released in 1908, seven years after Potter self-published the Tale of Peter Rabbit to critical acclaim.

The domestic tale of Jemima is a cautionary tale about the important of looking after your possessions. Jemima’s eggs were routinely confiscated by the farmers wife because she was considered a poor sitter who didn’t look after her eggs properly. Jemima resented this interference and hunted for somewhere secret to lay her eggs: she trusts her secret mission with a wily fox, who offers to help Jemima look after her eggs whilst secretly planning to cook and roast her. Of course, poor Jemima escapes, helped by a kindly collie dog where rescues her, and her eggs. Scary, exciting, and often referred to as an anthropomorphic interpretation of Little Red Riding Hood, the tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck is a lot of fun, and a wonderful introduction to the world of Beatrix Potter for slightly older children.

The Tale of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle

Mrs Tiggy -Winkle is officially the nation’s favourite hedgehog, thanks to the illustrations of her kindly face peeking from its bonnet. This a wonderful tale for children who enjoy their stories to feature human characters, as well as animal ones, and who have an interest in history. Potter originally wrote this story for girls (hence its focus on domestic chores, which is of its age) but of course it can now be enjoyed by modern children of both genders.

Mrs Tiggy-Winkle is a hedgehog washer woman who is happened-upon by a little girl called Lucie. The two enjoy tea together and then set out to deliver freshly laundered clothes to all the other animals. This story is certainly of its time, but it is so wonderfully charming that modern children won’t be able to resist Mrs Tiggy-Winkle and her uniquely idiosyncratic ways.

The Tailor of Gloucester

The Tailor of Gloucester is a wonderful story and one with an excellent endorsement: Potter herself declared that it was her favourite of all the stories she had written. Another story that combines human and animal characters, the Tailor of Gloucester tells of a group of mice who are rescued by a tailor whose cat had caught them, and planned to eat them. The mice are so grateful for the tailors kindness that they help him to finish making a waistcoat when he becomes too ill to complete it: the success of the piece helps the tailor to make his fortune.

Reminiscent of the relationship between the cat and mice in Disney’s version of Cinderella (although Beatrix Potter’s version was written first) this is a timeless tale for the ages. Children will love the thrill of the mice being both caught and rescued, the worry when the tailor becomes ill, and the race as the mice struggle to complete the waistcoat on time. Exploring a full spectrum of emotions in a relatively short story, this is a wonderful adventure for modern kids of all ages.

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