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|Beatrix Potter & the unfortunate tale of a borrowed guinea pig|
Author: Hopkinson, Deborah
When budding young artist Beatrix Potter brings home her neighbor's pet guinea pig so that she can practice painting it, it dies! What will she do?
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 5.00
Points: .5 Quiz: 189087
Kirkus Reviews (+) (11/15/15)
School Library Journal (01/01/16)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 12/15/2015 Here’s a cautionary tale drawn not from ancient tomes but from the pages of Beatrix Potter’s journal. In a conversational tone, Hopkinson introduces readers to Beatrix as a child, along with her little brother, Bertram, and their menagerie of pets, which included rabbits, birds, snails, lizards, hedgehogs, and more. Though Beatrix loved her animals, she was not very good at taking care of them, and many—as noted in her diary—met untimely ends. Unfortunately, one such creature was Queen Elizabeth, a guinea pig borrowed from a neighbor for the girl to draw. Alas, while unattended, Queen Elizabeth feasted on Beatrix’s art supplies, and that ill-chosen meal proved to be her last. Although Hopkinson’s warnings about careful lending rather than pet ownership may seem odd, her true purpose is to show how this beloved author and illustrator honed her craft. Voake’s loose watercolor illustrations fittingly call to mind an artist’s sketchbook, and Potter’s journal entries appear in italics to distinguish them from invented dialogue. An author’s note offers additional information on Potter’s life. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 01/01/2016 Gr 1–4—Told in the form of a letter from Hopkinson to readers, this story details an incident in which Beatrix Potter borrowed a beloved guinea pig from a neighbor to use as a model for her painting. The poor creature met its unfortunate demise overnight, leaving Potter crushed and more than a little mortified. This picture book homage to the beloved children's author and illustrator emphasizes how her love of animals and painting led to the creation of her famous tales. Hopkinson calibrates her own lyrical prose to mirror Potter's whimsical style, which adds a layer of nostalgia. Voake's sweet pen and watercolor paintings also conjure the spirit of Potter yet remain wholly original. While Potter's own diaries were used as inspiration, the time line and ending were adjusted to suit this slightly fictionalized biography more effectively, which Hopkinson discusses in an appended note. (Though Potter is portrayed as a young girl here, in reality she was 26 when the event occurred.) Pair this selection with Jeanette Winter's Beatrix (Farrar, 2003) and Potter's own work to create a magical storytime or author study. VERDICT A beautiful offering for any elementary collection.—Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.