Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Tale of Pigling Bland by Beatrix Potter

First published 1913
84 pages, 16 color illustrations, 37 black & white illustrations

Sent to market with his brother Alexander, Pigling Bland doesn't find it an easy trip. First, his brother is send home due to lack of papers. Secondly, he gets lost. And finally, Pigling Bland gets stolen. He finds his luck isn't so bad when he meets his captor's other prisoner, a pretty black girl pig named Pig-wig.

The History Behind the Tale (Linder 213-217):
Beatrix Potter raised pigs on Hilltop Farm and The Tale of Pigling Bland grew out of her adventures with her own pigs. It is interesting to note that both Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit appear in the illustrations (see p. 23 and p. 84). Again, Beatrix Potter only published one book in 1913. She had some difficulty in finishing Pigling Bland. First, she was ill and then there were preparations for her marriage. (Beatrix Potter married William Heelis on October 14, 1913.) Pigling Bland has much the same structure as Mr. Tod although the story seems shorter (at least, to this reader!).

My thoughts: Oh, I liked this one. Despite the length, it reads easily and quickly. I can definitely see this appealing to children. There's a lovely illustration of chickens in the story. I wonder why Beatrix Potter never wrote a chicken story?

Favorite Illustrations: Beatrix Potter & Alexander (23, B&W), Pigling Bland in the chicken coop (41, color), Pigling Bland meets Pig-wig (56, color), Pig-wig (61, color), Pig-wig dancing (71, color), Pigling Bland and Pig-wig running (81, color), Pigling Bland & Pig-wig dancing for rabbits (84, B&W)

Activity: The Tale of Pigling Bland is such an adventure story. I think it would translate well into a board game. Players could be the other pigs, even Beatrix Potter and the policeman. What fun there is to be had in designing it.

I hope you've enjoyed my exploration of The Tale of Pigling Bland. I'll be back next week to discuss Appley Dapply's Nursery Rhymes.

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