If anyone were to ask me which books I loved as a child then my answers would be anything by Roald Dahl, Beatrix Potter, Quentin Blake, Janet and Allen Ahlberg or Enid Blyton. So when I got the chance to review the newest book from Beatrix Potter, with illustrations by Quentin Blake I jumped at the chance. Today sees the release of The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots. Beatrix Potter wrote the story back in 1914 but never found the time to illustrate it. I’m guessing she was a little busy with the First World War which was just beginning. The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots was rediscovered two years ago by a publisher at Penguin Random House Children’s’, along with other letters in an archive at the V&A. They then approached Quentin Blake to do the illustrations. So now over 100 years later, children and adults can enjoy the story.
The first thing that immediately stood out to me was the illustrations, instantly recognisable as being done by Quentin Blake. Yes, they are obviously rather different to the usual style for a Beatrix Potter book but Quentin has done a wonderful job. The book itself is beautiful, available in hardback, covered in a dust cover, definitely one to treasure for many, many years.
“Once upon a time there was a serious, well-behaved young black cat…”
Or so her owner thinks. What she doesn’t know is that Kitty sneaks out at night to go hunting! Every evening she puts on her beautiful fur-lined boots, along with her gentleman’s Norfolk jacket, grabs her air gun and heads out for a night of mischief and adventures. Unfortunately she isn’t a very good hunter and she often gets into all sorts of scrapes and trouble whilst prowling around the countryside. On one particular night she happens to get into some trouble, whilst meeting a few familiar faces along the way. Including the foxiest hunter of them all Mr Tod, a certain rabbit in a blue jacket and a rather loveable Mrs Tiggy-winkle.
Overall this book is lovely. If you know someone who is a fan of Peter Rabbit and Beatrix Potter this will make a great addition to anyones collection. It would make a great christmas (I cannot believe I just wrote that) or birthday present. It’s available now.
THE TALE OF KITTY-IN-BOOTS
Written by Beatrix Potter
Illustrated by Quentin Blake
Published by Frederick Warne/Penguin Random House, September 2016
There is also an audio book available on CD with Helen Mirren reading the story.