Happy Birthday, Beatrix Potter
Artist, Writer, Conservationist, Gardener
On this day in 1866, Beatrix Potter was born. Her charming stories, and the beautiful illustrations she created for them, would go on to inspire and comfort generations of children and adults. She's most famous for Peter Rabbit, but the world she created is populated with dozens of endearing animal characters - as varied and interesting as the details of her own life.
"Beatrix Potter forged her own creative path to independence, fame, and financial success. Peter Rabbit, Hunca Munca, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, Squirrel Nutkin, Jemima Puddle Duck - many readers are familiar with the animal characters created by British author and illustrator Beatrix Potter. But she was so much more than a painter of watercolor bunnies in little blue jackets or ducks waddling about in bonnets and shawls. She was a natural scientist, mycologist, environmentalist, preservationist, farmer, and expert sheep breeder. Beatrix Potter was a woman ahead of her time, making her own decisions and handling her own business affairs despite living in a Victorian society that was unaccustomed to unmarried women doing so."
A Life In Nature by Linda Lear (2006)
"Linda Lear offers the astonishing portrait of an extraordinary woman who gave us some of the most beloved children's books of all time. Potter found freedom from her conventional Victorian upbringing in the countryside. Nature inspired her imagination as an artist and scientific illustrator, but The Tale of Peter Rabbit brought her fame, financial success, and the promise of happiness when she fell in love with her editor Norman Warne. After his tragic and untimely death, Potter embraced a new life as the owner of Hill Top Farm in the English Lake District and a second chance at happiness. As a visionary landowner, successful farmer and sheep-breeder, she was able to preserve the landscape that had inspired her art."
Beatrix Potter, Scientist by Beatrix Potter (1937)
"Everyone knows Beatrix Potter as the creator of the Peter Rabbit stories. But before that, she was a girl of science. As a child, Beatrix collected nature specimens; as a young adult, she was an amateur mycologist presenting her research on mushrooms and other fungi to England's foremost experts. Like many women of her time, she remained unacknowledged by the scientific community, but her keen eye for observation led her to an acclaimed career as an artist and storyteller. A beloved author is cast in a new light in this inspiring picture book story." Ages 3 - 4
Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life: The Plants and Places That Inspired the Classic Children's Tales by Marta McDowell
"The book begins with a gardener’s biography, highlighting the key moments and places throughout her life that helped define her. Next, follow Beatrix Potter through a year in her garden, with a season-by-season overview of what is blooming that truly brings her gardens alive. The book culminates in a traveler’s guide, with information on how and where to visit Potter’s gardens today."
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter (1902)
"Re-originated in 2002 to bring it closer to the original edition, six illustrations were restored - four that were removed in 1903 to make room for endpapers and two that have never been used before, Beatrix having initially prepared more illustrations than could be accommodated in the original format."
"Published in partnership with the British Library, this calendar features an array of Beatrix Potter's enchanting illustrations from their collection. Informative text accompanies each work and the datepad features previous and next month’s views. Printed on FSC-certified paper."
"Published to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter's birth, this magnificent collection celebrates the artist behind The Tale of Peter Rabbit and numerous other beloved children's books. Brimming with famous images and rarely seen gems - ranging from character sketches and notebook pages to watercolor landscapes and natural history illustrations - this monograph explores Potter's artistic process and reveals the places that inspired her timeless work. Organized geographically and featuring more than 200 images from the artist's oeuvre, The Art of Beatrix Potter includes illuminating essays by Potter scholar Linda Lear, illustration historian Steven Heller, and children's book illustrator Eleanor Taylor. It is the definitive volume on one of the world's most influential authors, a woman whose artistry, until now, has not been fully celebrated."
A Beatrix Potter Treasury (2007)
"Ten of Beatrix Potter's most popular tales are brought together in this beautiful jacketed hardcover treasury. The tales trace the life of Beatrix Potter from her first publication in of The Tale of Peter Rabbit 1902 to her later tales set around her farm, Hill Top. A wonderful illustrated introduction provides background on Beatrix Potter and the people and places that inspired her writing."
"All 23 original Tales by Beatrix Potter are available in a beautifully redesigned presentation box. This luxurious box features the new branded design, spot lamination and full-color original Beatrix Potter art, including a pop-up of Peter Rabbit and friends inside the lid."
"Introduce children to one of the most popular children's characters ever with this lovely new Peter Rabbit gift package. A beautiful high quality plush Peter Rabbit is packaged with the original and authorized edition of The Tale of Peter Rabbit to create a classic gift perfect for the newest fan." Ages 2 - 3
Saving the Countryside by Linda Marshall
"Through she's universally known as the creator of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter did so much more. This is the true story about how she helped save the English countryside!" Ages 4 - 8
Little Naturalists: Beatrix Potter Wrote Stories by Kate Coombs
"Kate Coombs' engaging narrative and Seth Lucas' captivating art teach young readers about this inspiring children's author and artist, encouraging little naturalists to Be Kind and Be Adventurous." Ages 2 - 3
Who Was Beatrix Potter? by Sarah Fabiny
"Born into wealth in 1860’s London, Beatrix Potter always had a vivid imagination. Her early interests included natural history and archaeology, and Potter delighted in sketching fossils and fungi. After briefly illustrating Christmas cards with her brother, Bertram, Potter wrote and illustrated her well-known book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit. The book was rejected by several publishes until Frederick Warne eventually took a risk and published the story in 1902 - a risk that paid off. Peter Rabbit was a huge success and readers loved hearing about Peter's mischevious adventures in the lush English countryside. As she got older, Beatrix Potter became a proud conservationist, working hard to defend the landscape she loved so well against industrialization and logging. Now over one hundred years old, Peter Rabbit and his animal friends have become cultural touchstones and continue to delight readers of all ages." Ages 8 - 12
"This simple counting book with a soft finger puppet of Peter Rabbit will really help adults to bring the pages alive. The Peter Rabbit puppet is cleverly stitched into the book so it can't get lost, and is integral to every page! A great fun read to share with very young children." Ages 2 - 3
The Tale of Holly How (a cozy mystery series) by Susan Wittig Albert
"Everyone in Sawrey likes Ben Hornby. So when Beatrix finds the shepherd dead in the meadow and suspects foul play, she wonders who would have done such a thing. A trio of village cats has an idea: When Ben breathed his last, his sheep must have seen his killer before scattering. So they set out to find the far-flung flock. Although she’s distracted by duties at the farm and the sad plight of a young girl, Beatrix must get to the bottom of this. As the stories intertwine, Beatrix and the creatures realize that, to solve this case, all of Sawrey, both the two- and four-legged inhabitants, must work together..."
Reading Order for the Beatrix Potter books
- The Tale of Peter Rabbit
- The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin
- The Tailor of Gloucester
- The Tale of Benjamin Bunny
- The Tale of Two Bad Mice
- The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle
- The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher
- The Tale of Tim Kitten
- The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck
- The Tale of Flopsy Bunnies
- The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse
- The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes
- The Tale of Johnny Town-Mouse
- The Tale of Mr. Tod
- The Tale of Pigling Bland
- The Tale of Samuel Whiskers
- The Tale of The Pie and the Patty-Pan
- The Tale of Ginger and Pickles
- Little Pig Robinson
- The Story of a Fierce Bad Rabbit
- The Story of Miss Moppet
- Appley Dapply's Nursery Rhymes
- Cecily Parsley's Nursery Rhymes