‘Over the Hills and Far Away’: The Life of Beatrix Potter

Matthew Dennison. Pegasus, $27.95 (272p) ISBN 978-1-78497-563-0
In his modest retelling of the life of famed children’s book author Beatrix Potter, Dennison (Behind the Mask) begins with her friendless childhood, in which her menagerie of pets became her companions (and in some cases, the basis for her characters); her fraught relationship with her parents; and her talent for drawing and keen interest in flora and fauna of all sorts. Dennison continues on with the famous letter that first told of the naughty bunny caught in Mr. McGregor’s garden; Potter’s bid for independence from her parents as she became a noted author, including a tragic courtship with her publisher, Norman Warne, who died before they could be married; and her turn to farming in her later years. Dennison makes strong connections between Potter’s life and themes in classic titles such as The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck, The Tale of Johnny Town-Mouse, and The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies. (For example: parents are not of the highest caliber in her tales.) As an introduction to the life of Beatrix Potter, Dennison’s telling is more than adequate, but fans familiar with this territory may wish to seek out a more in-depth study. 20 color and b&w illus. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/16/2017
Release date: 01/01/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-68177-396-4
Hardcover - 272 pages - 978-1-68177-350-6
Paperback - 280 pages - 978-1-68177-681-1
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