Since it was first published in 1902, Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Peter Rabbit has become one of the undisputed classics of children's literature — so classic, in fact, that generations of children have grown up thinking of it as a traditional folktale. But the exciting story of the mischievous rabbit and Mr. McGregor is very much an original, and part of the genius of Potter's invention is that her combination of words and pictures can seem new and familiar at the same time.
For those who may not remember, Peter sneaks into Mr. McGregor's garden to feast on fresh vegetables, ignoring the advice of his mother and the good example set by his siblings, Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail. Nearly caught by the rake-wielding gardener, Peter makes a narrow escape with the help of a watering can and some friendly sparrows, but he loses his new jacket and shoes in the process. Exhausted from his adventure, Peter gets a dose of medicinal chamomile tea and is put to bed early, while Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail feast on bread, milk, and blackberries for supper.