If you saw Google's homepage on Monday, you likely noticed it was decorated with a clever rendition of Mr. McGregor and Peter Rabbit. That's because Monday, July 28, marked the birthday of Beatrix Potter. She was born in 1866 and died in 1943. And among other remarkable achievements, she gave the world "a bunny book to conjure with."
That last is one of my favorite quotes from the lovely 2006 film Miss Potter. Part biography and part romance, it's the story of Beatrix's life and art. It gives special attention to the publication of her first book Peter Rabbit, the "bunny book" that publisher Norman Warne realized contained such wonderful promise and beauty. I love that at the same time he was falling in love with the book, he was recognizing similar things about the promise and beauty of the woman who had written and illustrated it.
Peter Rabbit is, of course, a true classic. Not just a children's classic, but a classic book in the English language period. I loved Peter when I was little, and am delighted that my daughter does too.
We celebrated on Monday by spending some time doing an online Peter Rabbit puzzle here. The puzzle is actually from a very fun website called jigzone. Whatever pizzle you choose, you can also choose the level of difficulty and "re-shuffle" the pieces of a new puzzle cut at any time. The sweet girl worked on the 6 piece "classic cut" and the 12-piece zig-zag, while I attempted the (harder than it looks) 16-piece block cut and the more relaxing 20-piece classic cut.
And peterrabbit.com also has a terrific page of fun and games related to Peter Rabbit. Coloring pages, dot to dots, word searches, e-cards and other fun activities, related to Peter and other Beatrix Potter characters (Jeremy Fisher, Jemima Puddleduck, Benjamin Bunny...) can be found there.
We're in a bit of a summer doldrum here: summer heat, no trip to grandparents in sight, arts camp over and Vacation Bible School still three weeks away (though since D is in charge of that, we've lots to do for it!) and me struggling with not feeling particularly well. Having a day to celebrate Beatrix Potter and her books was a great thing for us. I keep meaning to establish a literary celebration calendar so I can remember these dates from year to year. Next year, I'd love to celebrate with a homemade carrot cake...this year all we managed was some fresh carrots!