Beatrix Potter Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-10-22 
Review Score: 5 out of 5 star From 6 user ratings

Title: Beatrix Potter
Author: Alexandra Wallner
Illustrator: Alexandra Wallner
Genre: Biography (Grade k-2)
Theme(s): Beatrix Potter’s life, Women Artists, Women Authors
Opening line/sentence: Helen Beatrix Potter was born in London, England on July 28, 1866.
Brief Book Summary: A picture book about Beatrix Potter, the painter and writer of twenty-three published “tales”. This picture book goes through a quick time-line of Beatrix Potter’s life from when she was born in 1866 until her death in 1943. The book mentions some of her struggles throughout life as well as her grand successes.
Professional Recommendation/Review #1:
Susan Dove Lempke (Booklist, Sept. 1, 1995 (Vol. 92, No. 1))
Though Beatrix Potter's childhood was both lonely and isolated, it gave her plenty of opportunity for practicing painting and drawing and for closely observing the secret store of animals she kept. Stymied by gender in her quest to publish her scientific research on mushrooms, she reworked a story she had once written in a letter, thus beginning a very successful career as a children's writer and creating such memorable animal folk as Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-Duck, and Tom Kitten. In the final third of her life, Potter married and turned her attention to farming and conservation. Wallner simply and clearly outlines Potter's life, without sweetening the sometimes bleak, unhappy periods. Her paintings incorporate many of the natural motifs found in Potter's work, but her flat, folk-art technique in no way imitates Potter's style. For almost 100 years, Potter's cast of refreshingly naughty creatures has entertained readers, and this book is a fine choice to help children learn about the characters' creator. Professional Recommendation/Review #2:
Kirkus (Kirkus Reviews, 1995)
Wallner (Betsy Ross, 1994) has written a beginning biography of a woman as familiar to children as Mother Goose, but whose life is much easier to track. An easy-to-read, factual text, a straightforward chronological organization, and colorful, faux-na f paintings of well-researched settings characterize the approach. She helpfully includes an afterword listing Potter's twenty-three animal tales for children, but no bibliography or source notes. Several children's biographies of Potter are in print; it's good to have one for this audience.
Response to Two Professional Reviews: The second reviewer noticed that even though the book seemed well-researched because of all of the details and specifics, the author doesn’t have a bibliography of where she found these facts about Beatrix Potter. Because there is no bibliography, it takes away from the author’s credibility because we do not know if her facts came from a reliable source. The first reviewer makes a point that the illustrations of the book include a lot of details and are great for story telling, however they aren’t nearly as beautiful as Beatrix Potter’s were. Both agree the book is an easy read for younger children.
Evaluation of Literary Elements: The illustrations of the book are very detailed and are harmonious with the text. The author writes the story in chronological order so the story has good flow and is easy to follow. At the end the author adds a page that includes all of Potter’s famous “tales” so children can read them if they were inspired by Potter’s biography.
Consideration of Instructional Application: I would definitely use this book during a unit of Beatrix Potter’s books. During the unit we would read a few of her tales, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, being one. An extension activity I would use for The Tale of Peter Rabbit would be to have my students color in illustrations of the book after we read it. After I would have them order the pages as they occurred in the story. Another activity I would use from this biography is for my students to see how many words they can make from BEATRIX POTTER.
" said.

" The illustrations are very pedestrian, unlike those of Potter herself. A shame. Very little information is given about her books. " said.

" Good for biographiesMaking Meaning Grade 2 Resource Kit " said.

" Learn the story of the author Beatrix Potter, the author of the famous stories about Peter Rabbit. " said.

" an interesting book about the life of Beatrix potter. it tells of how writing was not her first passion or choice and gives personal information. a good book to start kids on biographies. " said.

" Author condenses this children's book on Beatrix Potter's life with beautiful paintings. One thing that stood out to me was the fact, as the author refers to several times, that Beatrix and her brother grew up lonely, but it did not hold both of them back from being successful adults, each in their own way. " said.

" This is a perfect choice for kids who are fans of Peter Rabbit or any of Potter's other stories. Here, we meet Beatrice and her brother as children, studying under a governess. Their friends -- mostly animal-- are introduced and Beatrice spends time studying and painting her little pets. She writes her first story as a letter to her friend's son.There's enough text to answer a child's questions without being overwhelming. The art adds details about the time and context. " said.

" This book actually made me a little disappointed in the movie Miss Potter, which I love, because it seems like Beatrix Potter was even more fantastic than they showed her. She actually printed her first book on her own, and it wasn't until it sold very successfully that the Warne publishers would even consider her. The more I learn about her, the more I wish I could have known her. I think we would have been friends. " said.

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