Beatrix Potter loved the countryside and spent much of her childhood drawing and studying animals. The Tale of Peter Rabbit, published in 1902, was her first book, expanded from an illustrated letter she had sent to a young friend. Beatrix Potter went on to publish more than 20 tales and collections of rhymes.
PreS-Gr 2-Over the years, Hague has re-illustrated many texts that were in the public domain. A number of his books have given new life to overlooked work and have been widely appreciated. His reinterpretation of the work of Potter, however, is egregiously unnecessary. Potter wanted her books to be small enough for little hands to hold. Hague's book is almost twice as large. Potter's book has softly colored spot illustrations, honing in beautifully on the drama or emotions of the facing pages of text. Hague's art is overblown with extraneous details that threaten to overwhelm the plot. His rabbits with enormous eyes are reminiscent of those kitschy, large-eyed waifs popularized by the Keans in the 1960s. If Potter's books were out of print, or in danger of becoming so, one might be more receptive to Hague's version, but they are readily available and hard, if not impossible, to improve upon. Why try?-Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Public Library, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.