Monday, July 28, 2008

The Tale of Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter was born on this day (July 28) in 1866. She was a woman of many talents--artist, naturalist, scientist, and author. She spent much time in the Lake District of Northwest England which, I believe, is the most beautiful part of the British Isles. Upon her death in 1943, she left the property she owned there to the National Trust, preserving it for all to enjoy.

We are all familiar with her darling little children's books, and I hope that you are introducing them to your youngsters. She wrote 23 books during her lifetime, and we have lots from Cecily Parsley's Nursery Rhymes to The Tale of Two Bad Mice and those in between including The Tale of Peter Rabbit. We even have a little known chapter book entitled The Fairy Caravan.

If you enjoy listening to books on CD with your family, you might want to borrow Rabbit Ears: Stories by Beatrix Potter. It would be a fun choice for a long car ride. We even have a DVD suitable for a rainy afternoon that showcases ballet vignettes of Potter's stories.

To learn more about the remarkable woman, check out one of these biographies for children:
Beatrix Potter by Alexandra Wallner
Beatrix: Various Episodes from the Life of Beatrix Potter by Jeanette Winter
For adults and young adults, we have Beatrix Potter: a Life in Nature by Linda Lear

You can also get a glimpse into her life at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beatrix_Potter
The World of Peter Rabbit is a website worth exploring: http://www.peterrabbit.com/
It contains games for children, coloring pages, things to make, and more.

I, for one, am grateful to this woman for she has enriched my life and that of my family's with her stories, beautiful watercolors, and belief in conservation.