Friday, February 15, 2013

The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit by Emma Thompson

There is always a danger of disappointment when old characters are resurrected for new tales, especially by authors generations after the originals. Will stories be carelessly modernized? Will character traits change? So, it was daring of the publisher Frederick Warne to invite actress Emma Thompson to write a new tale for Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit. Thompson is unquestionably talented, but would she get it right?

Having now read The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit, I think Thompson and her illustrator Eleanor Taylor got it right. Peter is still the irresponsible innocent who sees anything edible as his own. As in the original stories, he gets into trouble, what you might call a pickle if it weren't a radish. Mr. McGregor and Benjamin Bunny play roles in the comedy. And the setting is still the slow-paced 19th century British countryside, filled with verdant forests and ever-watching wildlife.

So, if you had doubts about the new tale, be reassured. You can never have too much Peter Rabbit. 

Thompson, Emma. The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit. Frederick Warne, 2012. 63p. ISBN 9780723269106.

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