Most people don’t realize that Beatrix Potter was an environmentalist who deserves recognition for her significant contributions on Earth Day.
The lovely new picture book, SAVING THE COUNTRYSIDE, The Story of Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit, with words by Linda Elovitz Marshall and pictures by Ilaria Urbinati, is a tribute to Beatrix Potter’s dedication in creating a legacy that stretched far beyond her beloved stories. This true story, told with honest heartfelt prose paired with delightful watercolor illustrations, shines a light on Beatrix Potter’s deep love of nature and her desire to preserve her beloved farm, as well as the rest of the surrounding farms and countryside (totaling 4,000 acres!) for the greater good.
Beatrix Potter (1866-1943) was a trailblazer for children’s literature and women’s rights, as well as the environment. Her first book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit (published by Frederick Warne in 1902) established the genre of fiction for young readers. This in itself was a monumental achievement, but even more so in the late 19th century when it wasn’t considered proper for women to work outside the home in a professional capacity. Miss Potter (the 2006 film) provides endearing insights into the whimsical imagination of Beatrix Potter and the societal pressures she faced and overcame. You can watch the trailer for this inspiring film below.
Born in Kensington, London, Beatrix later moved to Hill Top Farm in Cumbria. She was a biologist and naturalist at heart, and made it her mission to save the beloved countryside that surrounded her farm. In all, she protected and preserved 14 other farms, over 4000 acres of land, all of which were bequeathed to the National Trust upon her death.
Beatrix Potter wrote and illustrated 28 books that have been translated into more than 35 languages and sold over 100 million copies. The Tale of Peter Rabbit is still Potter’s most popular and well-loved tale. It’s the story of a mischievous rabbit and the ensuing trouble he finds in Mr McGregor’s vegetable garden!