Monday, April 11, 2011

Beatrix Potter Review of Book Nine: The Tale of Jemima Puddleduck

Name Of Book: The Tale Of Jemima Puddleduck
Author/Illustrator: By Beatrix Potter
What It's All About: Jemima Puddleduck would like to hatch her own eggs.  She leaves the farm to find a place to nest where she won't be disturbed.  Along the road in the forest she runs into a very elegantly dressed gentleman who listens to her woes about egg hatching and very graciously offers her his summer home.  Should it disconcert Jemima that the gentleman seems rather too interested in her and her eggs, or that his whiskers are so very long, or that his tale is quite bushy? I suppose a simple puddle duck should not be concerned with these things.
My Favorite Bit: On page 23 Jemima sees an elegantly dressed gentleman reading a newspaper.  Only the tips of his ears are showing over the paper and he is sitting on his tail on the stump as it is a little damp.  This fox is a dapper fellow.
Suitable Age For Reading It To: This story is rather bittersweet and too realistic for little ones in my opinion.  First off, Jemima is a rather silly duck.  She nests in feathers that are obviously the gruesome tale of what the fox does with other guests.  Secondly, when the hounds come to help chase out the fox they end up eating her eggs and she is very sad.  Thirdly, when she does get to sit on her own eggs at the end, only four hatch because she is not a good sitter.  All in all there are a few rather sad points to this story and though it ends all right, it doesn't end with a laugh and a smile.  I'd leave this one to older children.


  1. I've always thought this might be based on someone Potter knew.

  2. Wouldn't that make sense? If so, poor them. I'd hate to be a silly duck.