April 9, 2014

Hey You! Are You Reading Beatrix Potter?!

Happy almost-but-not-quite Easter! I have some pretty for you. Let me answer this question for you right now ~ I use, of all things....Julia's dresses as book backdrops. SO CLEVER yes? This one happens to be her spring Easter dress from Mini Boden, so I thought it was exceptionally well suited. Because it's all blown up ginormousy sized, the print looks really super vivid, but actually, it's a smallish violetty print that is really pretty subtle and not too loud.

And because I assume you all are blind by being internet junkies like me, I crank up the saturation in an attempt to blind you even more. But anyway....it's a very pretty, calming and lovely Easter dress. No I don't work with Boden. BUT IF THEY WANT TO MAIL ME FREE CLOTHES, who am I to stand in their way?? (I would not stand in their way)

Let's discuss the topic at hand, shall we? BEATRIX POTTER. The original Potter. (still love you Harry P.!)

Am I wrong in thinking that many of you think that Beatrix is for 3 year olds and too quaint and twee for reading 1) at all and 2) to bigger kids? If I'm wrong, lets just all gaze at Beatrix' (is it Beatrix' or Beatrix's??) art and sigh and smile.

 "I will just lock up the spoons!" (i have often thought this to myself as i run out the door)

But if I'm not wrong, then let me tell you how wrong you are and why you are wrong. So many many of her books are totally not suited at all for younger kids.

Would a three year year old know, or want to know, what the word "wainscot" means?? But your 8 year old would. I know, because my one and only 8 year old asked me. Believe me, I find it very crucial on nearly a daily basis to know the difference between a WAISTCOAT and a WAINSCOT.

First of all, there is the Art of Beatrix. Beatrix is one of the grandmasters in Kid Lit, art-wise, but what really makes her Great & Amazing in my eyes is the way she writes. I get what she's doing now. She's basically like a kiddy Jane Austen, in that she wrote about life and peculiarities and foibles in English society at the time ~ only she has set it all within the animal world.

You will learn everything there is to know about old fashioned English life ~ from patty pans, to window-shutters to how much to charge for jam and other random assorted bobbins. You will learn about cream crackers and roly-poly puddings. 'Samuel Whiskers and The Roly Poly Pudding' is one of our great great favorites.

And lest you think (see how Englishy I sound??) that life is all bonnets and corsets and jam tarts within the covers of a Beatrix Potter book, OH NO friends. No no. There are KILLER OWLS who want to skin squirrels and eat them, there are vicious rats that want to eat kittens, there are bunnies who get shot, there are meat pies filled with cooked mice that are almost eaten by dogs (only cats like those kind of pies) and just so much VIOLENCE AND MAYHEM, you can't believe it. (don't believe it, it's not true. except for those other things I mentioned.)

I really think sometimes we are in danger of overlooking Beatrix because she's Beatrix. We take her for granted. Like, oh I won't read this because I think maybe I already did, or maybe I just think I did, or maybe my grandma did, so I don't have to, or maybe I won't because it's too boring and or I can't remember?

Nah, I just won't bother reading Beatrix.

DON'T MAKE THAT MISTAKE. 'The Tale of Peter Rabbit' is actually one of her least interesting books, I think. I much prefer 'Mrs. Tiggywinkle', 'The Pie and the Patty Pan', 'The Tailor of Gloucester' and tons of others. Do you have the set? YOU NEED THE SET. It is my job to push books on you and I'm telling you, if you don't have the set, you need the set. (i linked it 3x so you would get my point. :)

And go read her longer stories with your older kids, if you haven't already! Go! Before they get too old and jaded! These books will un-jade you. They remind me of 'Winnie the Pooh' in that way -- you cannot read 'Pooh' to a 3 year old, they totally won't get the tone and humor of it at all.


(this post contains, like, fifty trillion affiliate links. i know, because they took forever to put in.)

25 comments:

  1. Love your pictures; you've made me think about revisiting Beatrix Potter's books.

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    1. Thank you Brenda!!! After I got this post ready, I pulled out all of the longer length stories and plopped them in front of Julia and was like, we're going read these! Some of small chapter-length tales were too long for her when she smaller and she's never read them. :)

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  2. LOVE Beatrix Potter...seriously love...and I *sooo* need all the tales...(kicking self for not investing in them earlier) :D

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    1. I got mine at Costco long ago...the paper isn't as thick as the kind in the little small books but I like that they are bigger sized. those teeny tiny sized books are darling, but they are tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiny!

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  3. I am so obsessed with Beatrix Potter! I have the bound edition of her entire set of tales. I read it not long ago, and it was wonderful! I honestly cannot wait to sit my future children down and read with them.

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    1. NICE!!!!! I love that you're collecting books for kids-to-be! I totally did that too :) There's a movie about real life Beatrix, did you ever see that? I think it was called 'Miss Potter'. With Renee Zellweger and Ewan MacGregor -- really darling!!

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  4. I love Beatrix Potter - The Tailor of Gloucester is my all-time favorite - but I must admit, I've barely exposed the girls! I agree, when they were tiny, most of the stories were too much for them, with the exception of Peter and Benjamin, perhaps. (Benjamin Bunn was a favorite of my early childhood.) I have a big treasury, which no longer has a dust jacket, because small fingers ripped it years ago. It would be fabulous to get it out with Easter coming up, though. Thanks for the suggestion! We should do that!

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    1. ha ha ha! i get you! those books are so especially well suited for springytime :)

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  5. We SO need some Potter in our book collection.

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  6. I have always thought Beatrix Potter's books (and WInnie the Pooh!) were way too complicated for a 3 year old. Mrs. Tiggywinkle has always been my favorite! We have the complete set. :-)
    Wouldn't it be amazing to go and see Hill Top? That's a dream of mine...

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    1. Jenny!!! I went there! When I was 18. It was so beautiful. I'm telling you, if I ever win the lottery, first thing I'm doing (after securing my kiddo's college education) is to buy a little English country cottage......

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  7. Yes yes I do have the set and it's one of my favorite book collection. I can't get enough of Beatrix Potter. Her books and illustrations never bore me. My boy still likes it when I read it to him. My baby girl is already a fan! Well I got her the baby board books version so she doesn't tear up the other books! Your photos make me want to read them all again right now!

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    1. for a long time when Julia was between 2 and 3, she said her favorite food was a radish, because she had heard about them so much in Peter Rabbit. To this day, not sure she has ever tasted a real radish....:)

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  8. Oh, how I love Beatrix Potter's books. We have a very well-loved anthology and a few of the little books, though if dearly love to get my hands on an entire collection of the little books. Samuel whiskers is by far my favorite character, and I have a soft spot for his story since I used to read it to Miss C. All the time when she was about three tears old. She couldn't get enough if those stories!

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    1. I know you're a huge fan!!!! Samuel Whiskers. LOVE THAT BOOK!!!!!!!! Seriously my all time fav.

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  9. The Pie and the Patty Pan was one of my favorite books when I was a kid!!! Great post, Melissa. My aunt just gave me a book called Holidays in Catland by Alice Goyder, who was apparently a contemporary of Ms. Potter, I think you would love it. I'm planning on writing a post about it presently. Also, I love how Beatrix Potter constantly uses the word "presently."

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    1. thanks Amelie!!!! I will totally check that book out thank you, I need a new book :) right????? about "presently"??? i love that!!!

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  10. Who's reading Potter? We are. In fact, Peter Rabbit is all I have been reading this week. Maybe, just maybe Joseph will give mommy a break and let her read one of the other tales soon. Pretty please!

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    1. HA HA HA HA! so funny! i voted for the t-shirt pic by the way!!!!

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  11. We love Beatrix Potter! And Julia's Easter dress is darling.

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    1. Hurray!! And thank you :) ~ I'll try and take a snap of her actually wearing the dress, instead of the book.....

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  12. Since I am the offspring of an architect, I did actually know what wainscoting was at 3! But, point taken. I just loved Beatrix Potter to bits. I think my favorite was The Tailor of Gloucester. Loved the little mice with their "cherry twist" (if I remember correctly).

    Oh, Boden. 90% of my clothes come from them and Joules.

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    1. Ha ha ha ha!!!! oh and can i say LAUREN!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hey girl!!!! Totally have missed you!! Yes! Cherry twist!!! Loved all that biz.

      Just recently got a catalog from Joules. Love. It's like another Boden, and I can never have enough Boden options!

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