“Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were – Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter.” So begins the classic tale of naughty Peter and his adventures in Mr. McGregor’s garden. Originally published in 1902 by F. Warne & Co., this and Beatrix Potter’s other books have charmed and delighted readers for over a century. They have become a permanent fixture in the world of children’s literature, handed down across generations. Potter’s whimsical stories and fanciful illustrations combine to create an enchanting world that captives readers from the first page. The vocabulary Potter uses is simultaneously perfectly appropriate for a children’s story and deceptively challenging for emerging readers, making her stories excellent resources for little learners. Also, Potter’s drawings are extraordinarily detailed, allowing the audience to make a plethora of connections between them and the text. These books were a staple of my childhood and now that I am a teacher, I love using them in my classroom and sharing them with my students!
Today marks the birthday of Beatrix Potter. Though best known for her children’s books, her legacy extends far beyond the literary world. Beatrix was born into a well-to-do family, who spent its summers in England’s Lake District. It was during these holidays that Beatrix developed her love of the outdoors, which she keenly observed and painted. Through her studies and drawings, Beatrix became a well respected naturalist (particularly in the field of mycology) before becoming a full-time writer in her 30’s. After the great success of her books (which she both wrote and illustrated herself), Beatrix returned to her roots in the Lake District, purchasing Hill Top Farm. Over the next several years, she bought several other properties to preserve the unique hill country landscape. Through her efforts, she not only became a pioneer in the Conservation movement but also a prize-winning sheep breeder. Upon her death, Beatrix left her entire estate to the National Trust. It now comprises much of the Lake District National Park. Beatrix Potter lived a life that is as engaging as any of her stories and I hope you enjoyed learning about her as much as I did!
Perhaps one of the most iconic Christmas books ever written is Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Its timeless characters and themes have become almost synonymous with the holidays. With its classic story and multiple adaptations, this book has something for everyone. I absolutely love reading this tale every Christmas (and debating with my family which movie version is the best)! The themes of forgiveness and redemption are especially poignant this time of year. It is an excellent reminder to be kind and compassionate to everyone, even the least among us. And on a lighter note, I absolutely love the scenes of victorian London! One of my favorite adaptations is Mickey’s Christmas Carol. My siblings and I watched the 1983 cartoon every year when we were little. I hope you and your family enjoy this tradition as much as we have!
One of the most memorable moments of C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia is when Edmund betrays his family for some Turkish Delight. This pivotal decision has stoked the curiosity of readers for generations. What is the allure of this treat? This article does an excellent job of shedding some light on this mystery. Thanks to JSTOR Daily and Cara Strickland for the information!
H/T JSTOR Daily and Cara Strickland
“The academic conversation surrounding Edmund’s Turkish delight, the eventual reason that he sells out his three siblings to the witch, focuses mainly on one question: With the entire world of food and confectionery open to him, why Turkish delight? (This question is especially important to people who have tracked down Turkish delight expressly because of Edmund.)”
For the entire story, please see JSTOR Daily and Cara Strickland
From the time I was little, I have loved the tales of Beatrix Potter. I have always been amazed that she not only authored but also illustrated her books. Equally as captivating as the stories Beatrix wrote is that of her own life. This article provides an excellent description of both. Thanks to History Today and Richard Cavendish for the information!
H/T History Today and Richard Cavendish
“The announcement in 2016 that the new 50p coin would feature Peter Rabbit was a tribute to the author of some of the best-loved stories for children that have ever been written. Her own lonely childhood may have helped to inspire them. Her parents, Rupert and Helen Potter, both inherited plenty of money. They moved in artistic circles and she was their first child, born in a smart new London house in South Kensington.”
For the entire story, please see History Today and Richard Cavendish
– See more at: http://www.historytoday.com/richard-cavendish/birth-beatrix-potter#sthash.TBGVMcCm.dpuf