The Peter Rabbit Stories
This hardback edition of the four Peter Rabbit stories is a lovely book to introduce a new generation to Peter, his family, and, of course, his arch-nemesis Mr McGregor. The quality of the publication with its colourful illustrations makes for a beautiful gift and will attract children and adults alike into sharing these classic stories and delighting in the rabbits’ antics, not least Peter’s skirmishes with Mr McGregor and his cat. While Currey’s illustrations have a more modern sensibility than Potter’s, they remain true to the originals and succeed in feeling both new and familiar.
Most enjoyable is Peter’s bravery and resilience. Even when it all gets too much, he keeps going as seen in The Tale of Peter Rabbit and The Tale of Benjamin Bunny. In the former, he still escapes from Mr McGregor without his shoes and jacket, and when his ‘kertyschoo!’ sneeze gives away his hiding place.
Supporting young readers who are learning to read, the text is large and well spread out, and the plentiful illustrations – a total of 77 across the 164 pages – complement and illuminate the text with warmth and gentle humour. Most importantly, Peter is immediately recognisable in his distinctive blue jacket. Furthermore, the inclusion of a glossary for young readers is a lovely addition as words and phrases that are no longer in common use are explained, e.g., ‘carbolic’, ‘Monkey soap’, and ‘upon his dignity’. This can only add to the enjoyment of reading and learning to read.