We were fortunate to have the opportunity to review two books by Kinder Cottage Publishing from the Peter Rabbit series – Peter Rabbit at the Farm and How Peter Rabbit Went to Sea. These books were originally written by Duff Graham for the Henry Altemus company over 90 yrs ago and their stories are still beloved to many today.
We chose Peter Rabbit at the Farm and How Peter Rabbit Went to Sea to read because these sounded like stories the kids would enjoy and I was right, for sure. Since my kids are ages 0 to 9, we used the book with the whole family. I read the stories at bedtime, during the day for a fun story time, and my 9 year old daughter read them to herself during reading time as well as to her siblings. These are definitely stories that are pleasing to all ages and fun to read and listen to. Interestingly, we chose these two books to review and then found that Peter Rabbit at the Farm references How Peter Rabbit Went to Sea, so they were a nice pair – and that happened completely accidentally.
Peter Rabbit at the Farm
Peter Rabbit at the Farm is the story of Peter Rabbit and his sisters, Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-Tail, and the mischief that Peter gets into. Peter ventures over to Mr. McGregor’s Farm again. But this time he visits the animals on the farm and makes friends with the animals, much to his surprise. Peter tells his mother and sisters of his adventures on the farm. They were worried for him and Old Mother Rabbit asks Peter to not wander off again but…well, we know how that goes. Peter just isn’t one to hang out at home !
How Peter Rabbit Went to Sea
In How Peter Rabbit Went to Sea, Peter decides that he wants to build a boat and play pirate on the brook, even though is mother told him specifically not play by the brook. His sisters are very worried about his decision and try to keep him out of trouble but, as usual, Peter continues with his decision to not listen to his mother. He has quite the adventure on the brook and, so as not to spoil the story, in the end, the natural consequences are enough for Old Mother Rabbit to determine that Peter does not need additional punishment at home in order to learn his lesson to not play on the brook.
The kids really enjoyed both of these stories. They were a little long for my daughter to read it as the bedtime story but I was able to read it in its entirety as a bedtime story. My daughter did read the story as a bedtime story in two parts once. However, they really both enjoyed the stories and loved the illustrations.
There are several reading levels within the books so if you plan to make a purchase for your older children to read on their own, you will want to take a look at the website and read the sample text from the book in order to determine which ones would be the best for your reader. For instance, here is a sample of text from How Peter Rabbit Went to Sea on page 48:
He scrambled, and he pulled, and finally he got all but one leg in the boat, when Johnny Crab came up behind him and said, “Wait a minute, Peter.”
One of the wonderful things about the stories of Peter Rabbit is that they teach natural consequences – when Peter disobeys his mother he usually finds himself in trouble. And in some circumstances he gets in a LOT of trouble with Old Mother Rabbit and sometimes Old Mother Rabbit knows that the natural consequences of what happens to Peter is enough to teach him a lesson to not do it again – a wise Old Mother Rabbit for sure!
I really liked that the books were fun to read, showed natural consequences for misbehavior, and had a wonderful story to tell with rich language that was not “dumbed down.” Though some words were “modernized” in the text from the original Peter Rabbit stories, I think this was good. Kinder Cottage Publishing did not change everything and left the rich language and content, only changed words that were very “old school” that made the stories a little more palatable for today’s children. One example that the authors give is that they changed the word velocipede which was used in the original texts to mean bicycle.
Intended for ages 3-9, the Peter Rabbit series is one that you will love to have in your library. They are high quality, wonderfully illustrated with an illustration on every other page and a wonderful read aloud or reader for the whole family. Published in the U.S., you can purchase your own Peter Rabbit book(s) from Kinder Cottage Publishing for just $4 each or you can buy the entire Peter Rabbit collection for $30