Beatrix Potter & the Unfortunate Tale of a Borrowed Guinea Pig
Written by Deborah Hopkinson
Illustrated by Charlotte Voake
44 pages – ages 7+
Published by Schwartz & Wade on February 2nd, 2016
Synopsis- Beatrix Potter loved animals, she had many pets over the years, and she loved to train them to walk on leashes (especially her rabbits!) and she loved to paint and sketch them even more! One day, Beatrix wanted to paint a guinea pig, which she did not have, so she went next door to her neighbor (who had lots) to borrow one. She chooses Queen Elizabeth, descended from guinea pig royalty. While painting Queen Elizabeth, Beatrix was called to eat at a fancy dinner party with the family’s guests, and she left Queen Elizabeth upstairs. That morning after the dinner, Beatrix had found that Queen Elizabeth had passed away after eating string, multiple papers and paste…
What I Thought- I liked this book a lot (even though the book involves the death of a guinea pig). It was cool that it is based on a true story, with some artistic licensing, making it a historical fiction story. Ms. Hopkinson’s writing style still has a positive tone to it even describing this unfortunate event. Ms. Voake’s watercolor illustrations give the book a classic feel to it, and make it seem like you travel back in time and are right in line with what a Beatrix Potter book would look like. Ms. Hopkinson includes an author’s note explaining where she took artistic licensing, and a little bit about Beatrix Potter. I really enjoyed the inclusion of the Beatrix Potter’s journal entries in the book. It was good to learn where Beatrix Potter found her inspiration. She had a large assortment of pets as a young girl and they were her muse. Overall, a very interesting story giving an insight into the life of one of the world’s most popular authors.
I give this book five out of five bookworms!