Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Tale of the Pie and the Patty Pan by Beatrix Potter

First published October 1905
60 pages, 11 color illustrations, 20 black & white illustrations

An invitation to tea turns into much more when Duchess the (Pomeranian) dog fears eating mouse at her friend Ribby the cat's house. An attempt to change the mouse pie with a ham and veal one is thwarted. Duchess didn't realize Ribby had a double oven! After eating what she thought was her ham & veal pie, Duchess is afraid she's swallowed the patty-pan she used to hold up the crust.

The History Behind the Tale (Linder 168-172) :
Like Tiggy-Winkle, The Tale of the Pie and the Patty Pan was a story Beatrix Potter developed long before it was published. The backgrounds in the illustrations feature cottages and other locales in Sawrey where Beatrix had visited and by 1905 was living part-time at Hilltop Farm. The book was published in a larger format (about twice the size of Peter Rabbit) with plain end papers under the title The Pie and the Patty-pan. In 1930, the book was changed to the smaller size and retitled The Tale of the Pie and the Patty Pan to match the other books.

Miniature Letters (Linder 81-82):
Ribby to Duchess
Ribby to Tabitha Twitchit
Tabitha Twitchit to Ribby
Duchess to Ribby

All about scheduling another tea party after the events in The Tale of the Pie and the Patty Pan.

My thoughts: The Tale of the Pie and the Patty Pan is a charming story. The illustrations are quite different from the other books. The book only has 11 color illustrations including the cover. They resemble the illustrations in The Tailor of Gloucester as they are framed by a thin black line. The color illustrations in The Tale of the Pie and the Patty Pan are larger than those in The Tailor of Gloucester and have captions. I liked meeting Dr. Maggotty in this book. You will remember him from the Squirrel Nutkin Miniature Letters. The 20 black & white illustrations are particularly well done. So far, I think The Tale of the Pie and the Patty Pan is the most humorous tale Beatrix has written.

Favorite Illustrations: "The Invitation" (13, color), Duchess brushing her coat (29, black & white), "Duchess in the Porch" (35, color), and "Dr. Maggotty's Mixture" (49, color)

-Find the patty pan (hide a patty pan and various other tea time articles. Whoever finds the patty pan wins.)
-"Duchess, Duchess, where's the pie?" game (like doggy and the bone)
-Party planning activity including writing invitations

Favorite Words: ornamental, genteel, marmalade, tippet

I hope you've enjoyed my discussion of The Tale of the Pie and the Patty Pan. Do read the book for yourself. I guarantee you'll have a nice laugh. Next Thursday, I'll be discussing The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher. I hope you'll stop by.

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