What is it?
Kinder Cottage Publishing is a family-owned publishing company that seeks to provide products that help parents educate their children. They have published the Peter Rabbit series as well as a set of Wizard of Oz books. They plan to publish books based on influential people in the history of England that is for elementary aged children. Kinder Cottage also plans to create a series of biographical picture books about the founding fathers of America.
The Peter Rabbit series is a set of books about the adventures (and sometimes misadventures) of a mischievous bunny named Peter Rabbit. The books are short stories with an illustration on each two-page spread.
There are a total of 10 books in the series:
- The Tale of Peter Rabbit
- Peter Rabbit at the Farm
- Peter Rabbit’s Christmas
- How Peter Rabbit Went to Sea
- Peter Rabbit Goes A-Visiting
- Peter Rabbit’s Easter
- Peter Rabbit’s Birthday
- When Peter Rabbit Went to School
- Peter Rabbit and the Little Boy
- Peter Rabbit and Jack the Jumper
This series was originally written by Duff Graham more than 90 years ago. They are now in the public domain. These copies have been edited to modernize the language.
These books were written for children between the ages of 3-9.
These books were read alouds for my younger crew. Tiger (age 6), Bee (age 5), and Ladybug (age 3) all listened in while I read to them. Curly (age 8) enjoyed reading these books on her own and the little people even convinced her to read the books aloud to them again and again.
I found the stories to be cute and my kids enjoyed the illustrations. They were great as a longer picture book and held the attention of all of my children.
I had mixed feelings about little Peter Rabbit. On one hand he was often polite and helpful (he apologizes and helps refill a pond) and on the other he often deliberately disobeyed his mother. So, I used these instances to point out positive and negative behavior to my children.
In the stories, Peter Rabbit does not always suffer consequences for disobedient. And while I don’t mind the portrayals of his disobedience, I was sad that he didn’t seem to show much remorse afterward or learn a lesson from his disobedience.
While the illustrations are cute and are colored in muted tones that fit well with the book, there was one picture that made me uncomfortable. There is a picture of the Peter’s mother holding him over her knee and spanking him (with what looks like a cattail). The mother looks very angry and the next picture shows Peter crying. While I’m not going to get into a discipline debate or discuss our beliefs on discipline, I will say that I don’t feel that parents should discipline in anger. The look on the mother’s face as she spanks Peter is unpleasant and this picture seemed to destroy the sweet tone of the books for me. I would much prefer another picture in the place of this one.
One thing I have noticed in books that were written several decades ago is that many have a common theme that “boys are often bad while girls are usually good.” We’ve read vintage stories that either implied or directly stated this. On the first page of How Peter Rabbit Went to Sea is this quote, “Flopsy and Mopsy and Cotton-tail were good little girl rabbits, but Peter was a bad little boy rabbit and was always up to mischief.” I really dislike books that paint only the boy in a bad light while emphasizing that the girl characters are mostly good. This is not something I want to teach my children, and I don’t want to make a distinction between gender and name one gender as bad while the other is considered good. I have one little boy in my house and while he is rough and tumble and sometimes lets his curiosity lead him into mischief, I would never make the distinction that his natural adventuresome spirit is somehow bad. So, I found this quote in the book to be in very bad taste and I disagreed with the gender stereotypes promoted in the book.
My wrap up!
These books are excellent quality hardback books with nice illustrations. They just feel very vintage and sweet thanks to the muted colors in the pictures and the tiny size of the books. The stories do present good lessons and have topics that lead to an excellent discussion of obedience and consequences. However, I was very bothered by the distinction made between the behavior and character of boys and girls in the story and did not agree with the gender stereotypes promoted by How Peter Rabbit Went to Sea.
Each book can be purchased for $4
You can use the coupon code TOS when you purchase and receive 20% off your purchase.