This particular volume of Beatrix Potter stories contains the tales of Peter Rabbit, Squirrel Nutkin, Benjamin Bunny, Two Bad Mice, Mrs. Tiggly-winkle, Mr. Jeremy Fisher, Tom Kitten, Jemima Puddle-duck, the Flopsy Bunnies, Ginger & Pickles, Mrs. Tittlemouse, and Timmy Tiptoes.
Each of these stories is populated by animals who live in their own little culture – they wear clothes, live in houses, keep shops and invite each other over for meals. Only in Mrs. Tiggly Winkle does a human speak with any of the animals.
Beatrix Potter’s writings exhibit a sense of morality, though not to the same degree as Thornton W. Burgess’s The Green Forest Series, which I prefer. While in his writings the moral lessons are explicitly taught, in Potter’s work, we merely see them happen. Peter is a naughty rabbit and his naughtiness causes him to lose all of his clothes and go to bed without his supper. We are never told that disobedience per se is wrong, only that Peter himself was a very naught little rabbit. However, this neglect can easily be remedied, and I am very glad that Ms. Potter did indeed label her characters as ‘naughty’ rather than ‘self-expressive’. ;)
Conclusion. Fun and sweet with the capacity to teach moral lessons.
Review © 2013 Laura Verret