Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Tale of Mr. Tod by Beatrix Potter

First published 1912
84 pages, 16 color illustrations, 41 small black & white illustrations

This is the tale of two villains--Mr. Tod (the fox) and Tommy Brock (the badger). Interestingly, our two villains don't care for each other. Thankfully, their animosity results in the restoration of Benjamin and Flopsy Bunny's offspring.

The History Behind the Tale (Linder 210-212):
The Tale of Mr. Tod was one that Beatrix Potter had thought up some time before the actual publication. It's length is longer than any of her other books to date. The color illustrations are few. (This I have found from reading Linda Lear's biography is due to her failing eyesight and stiff hands.) The tale is the fourth that features the beloved Peter Rabbit and company. The story is dedicated to a cousin's son, newly born. The illustration style resembles that of The Tale of the Pie and the Patty Pan (i.e., more black and white than color illustrations).

My thoughts: Too long by far! The few color illustrations are less charming than her previous work. I can see with my own eyes that Miss Potter was aging and her chosen profession wasn't aging with her. The black and white illustrations are uncommonly good despite their small size.

Favorite Illustrations: Tommy Brock & Old Benjamin Bouncer (17, color), Peter & Benjamin conversing (27, B&W), Peter & Benjamin dashing into the tunnel (44, B&W), Rabbits at diner (84, B&W)

Activity: Tommy Brock Tag/Chase

I hope you've enjoyed my discussion of The Tale of Mr. Tod. Next week, I'll be talking about The Tale of Pigling Bland. Until then, happy reading!

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