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The Spectacular Tale of Petter Rabbit
Frederick Warne / Penguin Canada
age 5-8
by Emma Thompson (Author and Audio CD narrator), Eleanor Taylor (Illustrator)
72 pages

Synopsis from Penguin Canada:

It was high summer and a travelling fun-fair had come to the village… Peter Rabbit and Benjamin were forbidden to attend. But even the best-behaved rabbit can’t keep away from a fun-fair; and Peter is far from being the best-behaved rabbit. With Benjamin at his side, Peter sneaks into the fair where a roller-coaster ride of an adventure begins… When Peter finds himself scooped up by a rather grumpy little girl and separated from his cousin he is helpless and very afraid. It takes the determined bravery of Benjamin to rescue Peter from the frightening hurly-burly of shouting stallholders and whirling rides.

I had no idea Emma Thompson had penned not only this story, The Spectacular Tale of Peter Rabbit, two others. I’m not often a fan of books written by celebrities. Most our written mainly for the cache of the writer’s name than his or her writing ability. I set forth reading this book thinking I wouldn’t like it for this reason but it isn’t bad. It takes me back to some of the original adventures that Peter Rabbit often encountered in his stories.

What child wouldn’t be drawn to the sights, sounds, and smells of a country fair or any amusement park for that matter? Peter Rabbit is that child, staring in awe and getting swooped up in an unexpected adventure. Even in the end, after a hasty escape of being some little girl’s game prize, Peter still dreams of the fair and what additional adventures may have been missed. These carefree adventures are why kids love Peter Rabbit and they’ll probably enjoy a trip to the fair with him in The Spectacular Tale of Peter Rabbit.

This particular book comes with an audio CD where you can hear author Emma Thompson reading from her book. You can follow along with the story (though this isn’t a read-along story with chimes to turn the page). I enjoy creating the voices of characters in my head but Emma Thompson’s English accent does add to Peter’s character, though I don’t like her Mrs. Rabbit voice. It’s not the sort of voice I imagined.

You can find a copy of The Spectacular Tale of Peter Rabbit at your local bookstore or at Raincoast Books. Visit our Kid’s Books section for other great book recommendations.

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