The Tale of Peter Rabbit

Book review by
Jennifer Gennari, Common Sense Media
The Tale of Peter Rabbit Book Poster Image
Parents recommend
Beatrix Potter's first and one of her best.

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 3+
Based on 4 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

Despite Peter's deliberate disobedience, his mother still takes care of him when he returns ill. The Tale of Peter Rabbit offers the simple lesson in the rewards of obedience and good behavior, as his siblings enjoy a hearty meal while he is bedridden, recovering from his unexpected adventure.

Positive Role Models & Representations

In contrast to Peter's misbehavior, his siblings Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail obey their mother's orders to stay out of Mr. McGregor's garden and are rewarded with a nice meal at the end of the day. The four rabbits' mother warns her children of the dangers of that specific garden because she is well aware of the terrible consequences that can come from trespassing. Despite being a widowed mother, she is still very capable of providing for and taking good care of her children.

Violence & Scariness

Peter's mother mentions that Mr. McGregor put Peter's father in a pie. Aware of Peter's presence in his garden, Mr. McGregor chases the rabbit around with a rake.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that children today still love this classic story. Sensitive kids may be alarmed when Peter's mother mentions that Mr. McGregor put Peter's father in a pie.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 8-year-old Written byrfm561 November 11, 2008

Not appropriate for children

Although I personally love this story, I also think that it is too violent and is therefore innapropriate for children. After reading this story to my child, h... Continue reading
Adult Written byCrimsonClover May 12, 2021

Beautiful Educational Story

Little hands will delight in holding the small books as you read to them. And their eyes will delight in all the beautiful water colored drawings which are quit... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written by546464hibabe March 19, 2020
Kid, 1 years old April 19, 2009

What's the story?

Despite his mother's warning, Peter Rabbit explores Mr. McGregor's garden. Sure enough, Mr. McGregor chases Peter with a rake. Peter loses his shoes among the potatoes and cabbage, and his jacket gets caught in a gooseberry net.

Frightened and out of breath, Peter finally sees the gate and slips back home. He is put to bed with a dose of chamomile tea while his three well-behaved sisters enjoy blackberries and milk.

Is it any good?

This first story by Beatrix Potter is one of her best. Everyone wants to explore forbidden things, and Peter Rabbit is no different. He sneaks into the garden, and Mr. McGregor chases him until he is quite frightened. Peter Rabbit misses dessert and learns his lesson, yet the tone is not didactic, and his mother is caring.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about exploring and getting into trouble. Where can you explore safely and where do your parents say you must not go? Do you think Peter learned his lesson after he went into the garden?

Book details

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