The Tale of Peter Rabbit was first published by Frederick Warne in 1902 and endures as Beatrix Potter’s most popular and well-loved tale. It tells the story of a very mischievous rabbit and the trouble he encounters in Mr McGregor’s vegetable garden!
Beatrix Potter’s famous tale of a naughty squirrel who loses his tail. Nutkin, his brother Twinkleberry and all his cousins make their way over to Owl Island to gather nuts, but Old Brown, the terrifying owl guardian of the island, has decided he has had enough of silly Nutkin’s cheekiness!
This tale tells the story of a poor tailor trying to survive in his freezing workshop over a hard winter. He has a terribly important commission to complete before Christmas Day, but is ill and tired. Luckily some very kind mice live in the dresser and set about helping the tailor with his work.
Peter Rabbit’s cousin, Benjamin Bunny, has been a very popular character since this book’s first publication in 1904. In this tale, we hear all about his and Peter’s adventures in Mr McGregor’s vegetable garden, and what happens to them when they meet a cat!
Chaos ensues when Tom Thumb and Hunca Munca, two naughty little mice, creep into Lucinda and Jane’s doll’s house one morning. They set about taking things to make their little home more comfortable, but end up creating a terrible mess.
A little girl called Lucie discovers a hidden home high in the hills. She knocks on the door, and meets Mrs Tiggy-Winkle who does all the washing and ironing for the neighbouring animals. Lucie spends a lovely day helping her, but it’s only later that she realises Mrs Tiggy-Winkle is a hedgehog!
The Tale of the Pie and the Patty Pan features the houses, gardens and streets of the village of Sawrey, where Beatrix Potter lived, at Hill Top, her first farm. The inhabitants, however, are animals rather than people, and problems arise when Ribby the cat invites Duchess the dog to tea.
This tale tells of an optimistic and slightly accident-prone frog, who sets off on a fishing expedition across the pond, only to find himself bitten on the toe by a water-beetle, fighting with a stickleback, and eventually nearly eaten by a trout!
This, along with The Tale of Miss Moppet, was intended for very young children. It is a simple tale of what befalls a rude little rabbit that doesn’t say ‘please’ before he takes something that belongs to someone else.
The Story of Miss Moppet recounts the tale of a pussy cat, Miss Moppet, chasing a mouse. It turns out to be a bit of a battle of wits, and who do you think will win?
This tale is set in the cottage garden Beatrix created herself at Hill Top, the farm she owned near the village of Sawrey. Tom and his sisters look so smart in their new clothes. When their mother sends them outside, she couldn’t possibly guess what kind of mess they are going to get themselves into!
Jemima was a real duck belonging to Beatrix Potter. All Jemima wants to do is lay her eggs in peace. At last she flies off and finds the perfect place. Little does the silly duck realise that the charming gentleman who has lent her his woodshed is busily planning a delicious meal of . . . roast duck!
The first farm that Beatrix Potter owned, Hill Top, was an old house with thick walls and many hiding places for rats and mice. In this tale, the farmhouse is Tom Kitten’s home and the story tells what happens when Tom accidentally comes upon the rat Samuel Whiskers living in a secret hideout behind the attic walls.
When the cupboard is bare at the Flopsy Bunny’s burrow, the family all have to go in search of food. They soon find some old lettuces on Mr McGregor’s rubbish heap, but who can imagine the horrors that await them as they enjoy a nap after lunch!
Ginger and Pickles (a terrier and a ginger cat) kept a very popular shop. Their customers loved to buy their provisions there, but they were less keen to pay for them and ran up a great deal of credit, making poor Ginger and Pickles’ lives very difficult indeed.
Mrs Tittlemouse is a terribly tidy little wood mouse. She is always sweeping her burrow, polishing and tidying. It seems that no sooner has she started than another messy visitor appears to leave their muddy footprints everywhere. Beatrix made beautiful studies of insects, to produce delightful pictures of the spiders to bees, found in Mrs. Tittlemouse’s home.
Beatrix wrote this story to appeal to her American fans and featured animals of American origin (grey squirrels, chipmunks and a black bear) living in the Lake District woods! Poor Timmy Tiptoes ends up deep inside the trunk of a dead tree, with no means of getting out. Luckily, the chipmunk who lives there is very kind.
The Tale of Mr Tod brings back Beatrix Potter’s most popular heroes, Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny, in an adventure that also features two very disagreeable villains. Fortunately Tommy Brock the badger and Mr Tod the fox dislike each other so much that when Tommy Brock kidnaps Benjamin’s young family, Mr Tod unwittingly becomes the rabbits’ ally.
This tale was published the year that Beatrix Potter was married and settled down to farming life for good. She had already been keeping pigs, and she sketched them for this story, using her own farmyard as the setting. One little black pig was a household pet and features as the “perfectly lovely” Pig-wig.
Beatrix Potter gathered material for a book of rhymes over many years. In 1917, when her publisher needed her help, she suggested that the nursery rhymes could be brought out quickly, using her existing collection of rhymes and drawings. The fact that the illustrations were painted at different times explains why the style occasionally varies.
Do you ever feel that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence? Well, so did Johnny Town-Mouse and Timmy Willie. One was a town mouse and one was a country mouse, and when they end up in each other’s worlds they soon discover that they were much happier where they started!
Cecily Parsley’s Nursery Rhymes is a sequel to Beatrix Potter’s first rhyme collection, Appley Dapply’s Nursery Rhymes. Like the previous book, it contains material she had produced and collected over a period of many years. The Cecily Parsley sequence of illustrations, for example, were first made into a little booklet twenty-five years earlier, in 1897.
The setting of Little Pig Robinson is based on various English seaside towns where Beatrix Potter spent holidays when she was young. It tells the charming story of an adventurous pig who sets off on an incredible voyage aboard the ‘Pound of Candles’.