The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter: The Tale of Cuckoo Brow Wood
Susan Wittig Albert
Ages 12 and up
Penguin, 2004, 0-425-21004-9
Beatrix Potter is delighted to be back on her farm. She is not delighted however to discover that the place is practically overrun with rats. Now Beatrix has a fondness for rats but even she has to admit that the situation is not acceptable. She decides therefore that the time has come to offer employment to some local cats. Perhaps they can get rid of her unwanted tenants. Tabitha Twitchet, Rascal, and the other village animals are delighted that Beatrix has made their decision for no one wants to see the rat problem spread.
Meanwhile the whole village is aflutter because the villagers are finally going to meet the new Mrs. Kitted. It is said that the lady used to be an actress and some are even suggesting that she might be a witch on account of the fact that she has extremely red hair. What Beatrix and her friends discover is that the lady seems to be at the root of a plan to develop some of the most pristine lake front property in the district. Is Mrs. Kittredge who she says she is and what is she up to?
In this third book of the Cottage Tales series Beatrix Potter once again puts her keen powers of observation to work. Not only does she find out Mrs. Kittredge’s secret but she also helps some children who very badly need a few fairy wishes to come true.
The author beautifully and seamlessly combines her mystery tale with the stories of the villagers and the stories of the local animal characters. With humor and sensitivity the author captures the essence of village life in England in the early 1900’s. She also writes in a style reminiscent of those years thus transporting her readers back in time. Readers who appreciate Beatrix Potter’s books will enjoy finding out more about the lady who gave the world Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddleduck, and Benjamin Bunny.
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