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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Classic Tale: The Pie and the Patty-Pan by Beatrix Potter

The new year is upon and with it the fast approach of many wonderful titles that will soon be gracing your TBR piles, I've no doubt.  While the excitement and anticipation is grand, it can also have you feeling the "heat" (well, not literally, since it was like 28 degrees this morning and yeah, it didn't really warm up...) as you try to get each book read by your deadline.  Whether self-imposed or in advance of a book's release, the pressure is on.  Now I love the challenge of it all, but I also love my reading time and thus have to walk that fine line between getting a book done and ENJOYING the book.  No worries though, thus far, the balance struck is working out, which leads me to the subject of this post.  The featured title today is a classic for certain!  By age alone, it has stood the test of time....although this was MY first time reading it!  (GASP!)  Today's book of choice is....

The Pie and the Patty-Pan
Beatrix Potter

This is the story of an unlikely friendship between a cat (Ribby) and a dog (Duchess).  The unlikely pair certainly stand out from the regular crowd in each others neighborhoods, but it does not deter them in the least from spending time together.  In fact, that is the very reason why Ribby was calling upon Duchess this very day!  An invitation to an afternoon tea at her house, complete with muffins for Ribby and a pie for Duchess!  How very splendid indeed!  As inviting as her request is, Duchess is worried about one thing.  The special pie.  Knowing her friend is indeed a pussycat, she is dreadfully afraid of being fed a mouse pie!  What to do, what to do!  Well, since she was going to invite Ribby over prior to receiving the invitation, Duchess already had a pie at the ready.  She makes plans to sneek her prepared ham and veal pie in as a replacement for the potentially mousey meal.  All seems to be going well until she is unable to locate her friends pie!  Oh well....what's done is done.  The only thing left was to enjoy the afternoon meal with her friend and hope for the best.  Will Duchess be successful in her switcheroo?  Or will she end up being the victim in her own foolish folly?  (Sorry, but the book is VERY short, and to expose more would ruin the story!)

Originally written in 1905 (WOW!), this classic tail has managed to stick around for the enjoyment of multiple generations and I'd imagine it to remain as such for many more to come.  Before we venture farther, let me clear something up here, because although you can kind of glean what it means from the story, it's much easier to have it spelled out.  A patty-pan is a pan used in baking, or at least it was popular to use many moons ago.  It was like a metal equivelent to a paper baking cup, except in this case it went under the top crust to help it hold its shape.  (Yeah, that's about as clear as the explanation gets...sorry!) Moving on...

I must say that although I enjoyed the story, the ending was a bit off for me.  ***SPOILER ALERT*** I mean Duchess ends up eating the mouse pie.  Thinking it is her own, she finds it quite tastey (the power of suggestion folks...) until she can't find the patty-pan she used when baking.  She thinks she swallowed it which ends in the discovery that it was in fact the mouse pie she devoured!  She puts her pie out back so as not to alert Ribby and in the end, it gets eaten by a few birds. ***SPOILER OVER***  Ribby contemplates the strange evets and deams that next time she'll just have her cousin Tabitha Twitchit over despite her preference for the presence of her friend Duchess.  (Moral of the story....tell the's mcuh easier in the end.)

That being said, I LOVED the artwork!  My copy is a small pocket size edition of the book, but the illustrations lost absolutely none of their beauty.  I've included a few in this post for your viewing pleasure.  (Go ahead, take a moment to gaze at them in wonder........still looking?  Okay, a few moments more.........okay, if you're not done yet, you can go back to them in a second as I am almost done.)  All in all, I would recommend this for younger readers, but also those who love the classic Beatrix Potter story style.

Speaking of classic children's stories, fables, and the like....what are some of your favorites that have stuck with you through the years?  From Jack and the Beanstalk to Peter Rabbit, there is bound to be at least one that you still remember...feel free to share!

Until next time....happy reading!


Juju at Tales of said...

It sounds soooo cute!

GMR said...

Juju: Definitely was...just not clear. I think the pic's made up for it though. =0)

Bella said...

Oh Beatrix Potter! I loved these books as a kid. I've been hunting down some as the local secondhand bookstore for my boys :)

I loved Enid Blyton so much as a kid as well as May Gibbs (Australian author).

The1stdaughter said...

Peter Rabbit was one of my favorites as a child and I think a lot of that had to do with her darling art work. Still to this day it's a dream of my mom's to visit Potter's home and I'd love to accompany her! Beautiful review!

GMR said...

Bella: A definite must get for their ever growing library for certain! They will be some of the most well-read children when you're done! =0)

The1stdaughter: I agree! If you look at the story, it gets a bit hairy there for poor Peter, but the pictures are pure magic. I hope you and your mom get to make that dream a reality one day!

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