The Tale of Peter Rabbit
For Ages 4-8
The quintessential cautionary tale, Peter Rabbit warns naughty children about the grave consequences of misbehaving. When Mrs. Rabbit beseeches her four furry children not to go into Mr. McGregor's garden, the impish Peter naturally takes this as an open invitation to create mischief. He quickly gets in over his head, when he is spotted by farmer McGregor himself. Any child with a spark of sass will find Peter's adventures remarkably familiar. And they'll see in Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail that bane of their existence: the "good" sibling who always does the right thing. One earns bread and milk and blackberries for supper, while the obstinate folly of the other warrants medicine and an early bedtime.
Beatrix Potter's animal stories have been a joy to generations of young readers. Her warm, playful illustrations in soft colors invite children into the world of words and flights of fancy. Once there, she gently and humorously guides readers along the path of righteousness, leaving just enough room for children to wonder if that incorrigible Peter will be back in McGregor's garden tomorrow.
(Ages Baby to Preschool)
From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2-Over the years, Hague has re-illustrated many texts that were in the public domain. A number of his books have given new life to overlooked work and have been widely appreciated. His reinterpretation of the work of Potter, however, is egregiously unnecessary. Potter wanted her books to be small enough for little hands to hold. Hague's book is almost twice as large. Potter's book has softly colored spot illustrations, honing in beautifully on the drama or emotions of the facing pages of text. Hague's art is overblown with extraneous details that threaten to overwhelm the plot. His rabbits with enormous eyes are reminiscent of those kitschy, large-eyed waifs popularized by the Keans in the 1960s. If Potter's books were out of print, or in danger of becoming so, one might be more receptive to Hague's version, but they are readily available and hard, if not impossible, to improve upon. Why try?
– Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Public Library, NY
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