Until recently I only knew Beatrix Potter (1866-1943) as the author of one of my favorite childhood books, The Tale of Peter Rabbit. This classic story about Peter Rabbit leading his three sisters, Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail on a mischievous adventure, their encounters with Farmer McGregor, and finally their safe return home captivated me as a child.
As I learned more about the author, I find her talent and determination to follow her passion inspiring. After receiving many rejections from publishers, Beatrix decided to print The Tale of Peter Rabbit herself, and it first appeared in 1902. This much-beloved book has since become one of the most famous children’s stories ever written, and it has certainly become bigger than life when you consider all the merchandise it has spawned. Whether you like it or not, you can find Peter Rabbit on everything from clothing to switch-plate covers.
I am also intrigued by the secret code Beatrix developed so that her diary writing would remain private. It was not until years after her death that her code was cracked, revealing her strong opinions on various artists and politicians of her day. I also tried to keep my diary hidden as a kid, for fear my brother or someone else would find it and reveal all my inner thoughts.
Today is Beatrix Potter’s birthday. Celebrate this wonderful author by sharing Peter Rabbit and his friends with your kids.
• Read stories by Beatrix Potter.
• Learn more about Beatrix Potter’s storybook characters on the official Beatrix Potter website.
• See Beatrix Potter’s artwork. It might inspire your kids to draw their own pictures, or take a hike afterwards and try to identify the nature outside.