When people see my collection of Beatrix Potter’s little books beginning with The Tale of Peter Rabbit, they say “I remember these books,” “These were my favorite childhood books,” or “I loved ____________.” (fill in with Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny, Jemima Puddleduck, or another favorite character.)
This year marks the 150th birthday of this beloved author which is indeed a reason to celebrate!
Here is a recipe for a delightful birthday party to honor Beatrix Potter:
- Invite children’s authors, librarians, teachers, and lovers of children’s literature.
- Decorate with pots of flowers and little books by Beatrix Potter.
- Make paper fans to stir up a breeze (the weather woman said it would be 105 degrees.) Don’t forget favors. These tiny versions of Beatrix Potter’s little books come in a boxed set.
- Serve tea (iced- see above)
- A table spread with tasty little sandwiches, fruit, veggies, muffins, cookies, and cakes.
- Finish with a presentation about Beatrix Potter, Preservationist given by Denise Sciandra who is a member of the Beatrix Potter Society!
- From early childhood, Beatrix loved nature and animals.
- She kept a menagerie and enjoyed drawing her many pets.
- Beatrix Potter’s Family spent each summer holiday in the Lake District of England. When Beatrix was 16, their regular summer home was not available so her father rented Wray Castle.
- It was there that Beatrix met Hardewicke Rawnsley who was concerned about open countryside being purchased for homes and therefore made unavailable for the public to enjoy. He went on to become one of the founders of the British National Trust.
- Beatrix Potter became a landscape painter as well as a naturalist and botanical artist. She faced rejection because, as a woman, her work was not deemed scholarly enough.
- Beatrix Potter set her stories in the places she loved in the Lake District and used the animals native to the area as characters. Peter Rabbit was inspired by her pet rabbit named Peter Piper.
- She purchased Hill Top Farm in 1905 with the money she earned from her books and she set many of her stories at her beloved home including Mrs. Tiggy Winkles kitchen and Mr.MacGregar’s garden.
- As a farmer and preservationist, she was interested in keeping the ancient breed of Herdwick sheep alive and well.
- She purchased land all over Great Britain that was at risk of being developed. After her death in 1943, the land was given to the National Trust whose goal is For ever. For Everyone. Beatrix Potter was a forward thinking woman. Because of her generous donation, vast areas remain in their natural state.
I know a group of ladies who are ready to walk the paths that Beatrix walked.