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Book Review: The Christmas Tale Of Peter Rabbit

Updated on August 18, 2014
MacPharlain profile image

MacPharlain enjoys reading good books from many genres. His favorite is historical fiction and his favorite author is Patrick O'Brian.

My kids love the stories of Beatrix Potter, especially the harrowing adventures of Peter Rabbit. So they were excited when one received a copy of The Christmas Tale of Peter Rabbit for, you guessed it, Christmas.

This is the second Peter Rabbit book written by actress Emma Thompson in the style of Beatrix Potter. It's her best one so far. That's mainly because this story doesn't suffer the plausibility issues that Thompson's first Peter Rabbit escapade, The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit, did.

In this story, Peter and his cousin, Benjamin Bunny, decide to help their friend, William, from becoming the main course at Mr. and Mrs. McGregor's Christmas dinner (William is a turkey). This noble effort is complicated by William's arrogant refusal to fold in his tail feathers.

The writing is a good imitation of Potter's style and it seems the author is more comfortable writing that way in this book than in her first. There's still a feeling that something's missing...some level of detail or natural charm that was in Potter's writing. Emma Thompson has a tough act to follow in Beatrix Potter, so kudos to her for attempting to continue the Peter Rabbit tales.

The illustrations by Eleanor Taylor aren't as finely detailed as Potter's but are beautifully drawn and in keeping with the original works. Definitely better than I could draw them. She included some nice seasonal touches with lots of holly and the snow covered Brussels sprout plants in Mr. McGregor's garden.

Another thing that stands out about this book is the feel of the paper. It's a heavier paper than most children's book and is a light yellowish brown color. This gives the pages of the book an aged, almost antique, feel.

I enjoyed reading the book and, most importantly, my kids like reading it or listening to me read it to them while they look at the beautiful pictures. It's far better than a lot of the other new children's books on the market and makes a charming gift for the mischievous little rabbits in your family.

More Peter Rabbit Adventures...

The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit
The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit

The first new adventure of Peter Rabbit by Emma Thompson. Peter takes an unexpected journey to the Scottish Highlands.

Beatrix Potter the Complete Tales (Peter Rabbit)
Beatrix Potter the Complete Tales (Peter Rabbit)

Revisit all of Beatrix Potter's original 23 Peter Rabbit adventures in one book.


How do you feel about someone other than Beatrix Potter writing new Peter Rabbit stories?

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    • RonElFran profile image

      Ronald E Franklin 3 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      I have fond childhood memories of the Peter Rabbit books. I wasn't aware that a modern author was continuing the tradition. Thanks for the heads up.