I have a confession. The only Beatrix Potter story I read as a child was The Tale of Mrs Tiggy Winkle, a delightful story about a hedgehog who takes in washing. I still have my original book albeit slightly worn, falling apart and scribbled on - and as I discovered last night missing two pages - and last Friday when the grandchildren stayed I read it to GrandDaughter1.
She was charmed by it and wanted so much to believe that it was true. (I still suspect it is true and that there is a hedgehog who does the ironing for all the other little woodland creatures, for, as Beatrix Potter herself asks, how else did Lucie find her pocket-handkerchiefs?)
Last night, when they slept over, she wanted it read again and when I'd finished, as GrandSon2 hadn't quite fallen asleep, I picked up The Tale of Jemima Puddleduck, a book I think I must have found in a charity shop. GrandDaughter1 quickly identified the foxy gentleman reading a newspaper and I was relieved when Kep, the collie, appeared and saved the day. Relieved that is until the two fox-hounds he'd brought in to help him ate Jemima's eggs!
Even the slightly happier ending was spoiled because only four of her next lot of eggs hatched because she wasn't very good at sitting on them!
Really, why didn't someone warn me?
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This afternoon I finished reading The Camel Bookmobile by Masha Hamilton.Based on the camel library that was set up to take books - and literacy - to outlying African villages, it's a fictional tale of what happens when two of the books go missing. With wonderful descriptions of the customs and traditions retained by nomadic tribes as well as beautifully drawn characters it is a delight.
I do recommend it even though I am not happy with the ending. Then again I have still not come to terms with the fact that Jo didn't marry Laurie in Little Women.