Cover image for Beatrix : various episodes from the life of Beatrix Potter
Beatrix : various episodes from the life of Beatrix Potter
Winter, Jeanette.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Farrar Straus Giroux, 2003.
Physical Description:
62 pages : illustrations ; 17 cm
This simple biography of Beatrix Potter, best known for writing The tale of Peter Rabbit, includes excerpts from her published letters and journals and reveals why she drew and wrote about animals.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.1 0.5 69893.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PR6031.O72 Z6966 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PR6031.O72 Z6966 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
PR6031.O72 Z6966 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
PR6031.O72 Z6966 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
PR6031.O72 Z6966 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
PR6031.O72 Z6966 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Captures the artist's life and work

Beatrix Potter's childhood was characterized by a distinctly Victorian mixture of privilege and neglect. Her parents were distant and distracted, so she was left largely to her own devices. She found companionship in nature, in the small animals she met in the family's garden and in the countryside on summer visits. And she found happiness in drawing and writing stories about her animal friends, later the inspiration for The Tale of Peter Rabbit and her twenty-two other books.

Beatrix Potter's own words, taken from her letters and journals, are incorporated in Jeanette Winter's book - just slightly larger than Beatrix Potter's little books - and this portrait pays a glowing tribute to the grande dame of children's literature.

Author Notes

Jeanette Winter has written and/or illustrated over a dozen children's books, including "Calavera Abecedario" and "The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq," as well as biographies of Diego Rivera, Johann Sebastian Bach and Georgia O'Keeffe among others.

Winter is celebrated for her distinctive painting style, picture design, and usage of brilliant colors. She has received the American Illustrators Guild Award twice.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

PreS^-Gr. 2. This biography of children's author Beatrix Potter is just a bit larger in size than Potter's own books, such as The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Winter incorporates sentences and phrases from Potter's writings into her account, using italics to distinguish them. Potter, who looks mournfully out from the cover, led a lonely life, but Winter shows how her interest in animals, science, and drawing filled her time and shaped her into the author-illustrator she became. Surprisingly, although Potter's work is very focused on nature, she lived in London until age 47. It was then that she married and moved with her husband to Hill Top Farm, where at last she was able to see green spaces around her. The text is spare, just two to five sentences per page; the paintings, in Winter's characteristic muted tones and flat style, are delicately outlined in black ink. Brief as it is, the book successfully conveys Potter's life and personality. --Susan Dove LempkeFocus: Survivor

Publisher's Weekly Review

Winter (Emily Dickinson's Letters to the World) spotlights another literary icon in this elegantly designed biography of Beatrix Potter. The book's diminutive size (approximately 6" 6") belies its subject's forceful personality, which Winter telegraphs right from the cover portrait of a sad-eyed girl staring uncompromisingly at readers. The text highlights themes likely to be of interest to a young audience-Beatrix's lonely childhood, for instance, and her love of animals-and deftly incorporates passages from Potter's journals and letters (which appear in italics). Admirers may be particularly intrigued with the reception given the young Beatrix's artwork, both from her parents ("Father is critical of my pictures, and Mother is not interested") and from her drawing teacher, who has "different ideas" ("I do wish these drawing lessons were over so that I could have some peace and sleep of nights," the real Beatrix writes). As with her Dickinson biography, Winter's illustrations here are formal, distinct from the folk-art approach of many of her other picture books (including Ni$o's Mask, reviewed below). Stylized to emphasize the solidity of the figures and to reflect a palette dominated by springtime purples and teals, they offer a vigorous contrast to Potter's own inimitable work. Illustrations appear on one page of each spread, with a colored initial cap on the facing page of text adding an understated grace note. With attention to the smallest details, Winter creates a wonderful introduction to the author/artist and provides a fascinating look at events that led to her serendipitous career. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-Winter turns her attention to another creative person in this introduction to the life of Potter. As in previous books, she incorporates her subject's own words to add an immediacy to the first-person account. The episodes she portrays deal mainly with Potter as a child and young woman who turned to her drawing and her animal friends in the absence of interactions with parents or friends. Children see how Potter explored science and art to maintain connections with the wider world. Her adult life receives scant attention aside from the origin of The Tale of Peter Rabbit and her purchase of Hill Top Farm. The book's small format reminds readers of the books for which Potter is famous. The generous amount of white space around each of Winter's illustrations also recalls Potter's picture books, although Winter's square pictures are all firmly edged in black, underscoring the limits and loneliness of Potter's life. Animals appear more often than humans. Jane Johnson concentrates on the story of Potter's most famous book in My Dear Noel (Dial, 1999). Alexandra Wallner's Beatrix Potter (Holiday, 1995) includes more information about the artist's adult life, and David R. Collins offers even more extensive coverage for somewhat older readers in The Country Artist (Carolrhoda, 1989). Winter's introduction conveys Potter's spirit as well as the facts of her life. Beatrix provides a fine starting place for someone curious about the woman behind Peter Rabbit, 100 years after his story was first published.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.