Sigh! More messing with tradition and classic literature for spurious motives. What is going on this time?
Click here to read Harriet Brown’s article in The Guardian on the new covers for Peter Rabbit to celebrate his creator, Beatrix Potter’s, 150th birthday.
New, edgy, shiny, cool ... whatever you want to call them, they are yet more evidence of the current need for everything old or charming to get face-lifted or reinvented. As she says:
“ … someone has missed the point when they got rid of the original illustrations and decided that it was about time Peter Rabbit became cool. Peter Rabbit is not cool. Peter Rabbit is not supposed to be cool. He’s a mischievous baby rabbit who likes eating lettuces.”
But what is most annoying and sad is that this is not a fitting tribute to Beatrix Potter herself or her beautiful artworks, loved by generations of children and adults alike. It looks more like an exploitative exercise in promoting a handful of fashion designers only known to the rich or trendy in order to deliberately create a stir and thus sneakily draw attention to their businesses or their own designs. The best thing that can happen is that book purchasers boycott these new editions and continue to insist on the traditional versions instead.