Saving the Countryside: The Story of Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit by Linda Elovitz Marshall, Ilaria Urbinati

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"Fans of Beatrix Potter will delight in this tribute to her dedication and talent, encapsulating a legacy that reaches far beyond the pages of her beloved books."-Foreword Reviews in a STARRED REVIEW

 

"Empowering and fresh."-School Library Journal

 

"The life of the British picture-book author and illustrator makes a serendipitous subject for an engaging and attractive picture book...A well-told tale that makes the life story of the renowned author accessible to children."-Kirkus Reviews

 

"Perhaps Peter Rabbit needs no introduction, but even children who know Beatrix Potter's name probably know little about her. This appealing picture book fills that gap.... Recommended for young Beatrix Potter fans."-Booklist

 

"In forthright language, this picture book biography recounts her boundary-breaking life as she grows from a nature-loving child with a menagerie of pets...into a successful artist and canny entrepreneur. An attractive introduction to an iconic creator."-Publisher's Weekly

 

"An exceptionally accurate portrait of Beatrix Potter told with humor and surprise. Beautifully done." Linda Lear, author of Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature

 

Through she's universally known as the creator of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter did so much more. This is the true story about how she helped save the English countryside!

 

Growing up in London, Beatrix Potter felt the restraints of Victorian times. Girls didn't go to school and weren't expected to work. But she longed to do something important, something that truly mattered. As Beatrix spent her summers in the country and found inspiration in nature, it was through this passion that her creativity flourished.

 

There, she crafted The Tale of Peter Rabbit. She would eventually move to the countryside full-time, but developers sought to change the land. To save it, Beatrix used the money from the success of her books and bought acres and acres of land and farms to prevent the development of the countryside that both she and Peter Rabbit so cherished. Because of her efforts, it's been preserved just as she left it.

 

This beautiful picture book shines a light on Beatrix Potter's lesser-known history and her desire to do something for the greater good.

Beatrix Potter's extraordinary life is introduced to a new generation of readers in this picture book biography. Marshall highlights not only Potter's career as a children's book illustrator and author but also her role as a trailblazing businesswoman, amateur scientist, and conservationist. In a time when women were not encouraged to have lives outside of the home, let alone run businesses, Potter paid to have the first copies of The Tale of Peter Rabbit published. She then merchandised her books through tea sets, games, and toys. Her ambitions didn't stop with children's books. Potter researched and illustrated an academic paper on how mushrooms reproduce and submitted it to scientists, only to have her work dismissed because she was a woman. Perhaps most remarkably, Potter was an ardent conservationist and purchased and then donated thousands of acres of farmland in England's Lake District to the National Trust. Urbinati's art provides a pleasant backdrop to the story line. End pages incorporate sketches of some of Potter's beloved characters. Source material and an author's note about Marshall's inspiration for the book are included in the back matter.

VERDICT A worthwhile addition to most collections, particularly those needing more biographies of innovative
women. Empowering and fresh.-- "School Library Journal"

Linda Elovitz Marshall grew up near Boston, graduated from Barnard College, and raised four children and a flock of sheep on a farm in the Hudson Valley of New York. She is the author of several books for young readers. Marshall lives with her family in Selkirk, New York.

Ilaria Urbinati is an illustrator who lives in Italy in a nice city near the mountains called Turin. Like Beatrix, she draws all the time with her computer and her watercolors (she loves them!), and she enjoys taking long walks in a nearby park. There, she meets squirrels and birds, and pets every dog and cat she comes across. She has no rabbit, but her dream is to live with a cat in a house full of books and paintings.

0.4" H x 8.8" L x 11.3" W

40 pages

hardcover