When I discovered this new book in the library, Beatrix Potter & the Unfortunate Tale of a Borrowed Guinea Pig, I couldn’t wait to read it. Beatrix Potter is a well-known and loved children’s book author and one of my favorites. I’m sure we have all read some of her delightful tales and are quite aware of her love for animals. Even as a small child, Beatrix and her brother enjoyed many different kind of pets. She had frogs, salamanders, lizards, hedgehogs and newts just to name a few of her unusual pets and she loved to paint them. So her request to paint her neighbor’s guinea pig was of no surprise to anyone. Beatrix picked the prettiest guinea pig, Queen Elizabeth. Beatrix was pleased with the guinea pig’s portrait but was summoned to a dinner party. Little did she know that Queen Elizabeth was quite hungry and decided to munch on glue, string and paper while Beatrix was at dinner. Devastated might be the word to use when Beatrix found Queen Elizabeth the next morning. She had expired due to her previous evening’s meal. Would Miss Nina Paget, her neighbor, forgive her when Queen Elizabeth was brought back home? A distressed Beatrix asked for forgiveness and also gave her the beautiful picture she had painted of Queen Elizabeth.
This noted author, Deborah Hopkinson has written a humorous and charming book about Beatrix that I’m sure you will enjoy. The author has also added pictures and a small biography of Beatrix Potter in the back of the book along with a note to all readers: “What would you have done in Miss Nina Paget’s shoes. You many have been wise and kept the picture since Beatrix Potter became so famous that many of her pictures sold for thousands of pounds.”
On another note, the illustrations by Charlotte Voake capture your imagination and add to the charm of this delightful book.