An announcement this week from Penguin Press says they've acquired Ms Emma Thompson to write "The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit."
As many a therapist would say, "How does that make you feel?"
The first book I ever remember loving and holding was a small volume of Beatrix Potter's "Peter Rabbit." I adored Peter. I laughed at his naughty ways and encouraged him to run from the farmer. I begged his mother not to punish him and just knew he'd be a good rabbit until next time! He was a rascal and I loved him for it. Dear Peter...one of a kind, Peter.
Now comes Penguin to add to that. Some things cannot be extended. Some perfect things have endings and the endings are as they should be. I always thought "Gone With The Wind" had a crushing ending, but it's legendary. The sequel left us flat-footed, didn't it? I couldn't even get past the first 60 or so pages...it was so discouraging, like trying to drag Rhett and Scarlet's mummies around (I can't bear to say corpse).
There are other great books with perfect endings that allow us to graciously take our leave of magnificent characters who then live on in our hearts and minds. Can Precious Peter Rabbit be revived in this way...hopping off to Scotland on another adventure? Don't you think that may be too smooth and "modern" for our old pet?
And why Emma Thompson? She's a fine actor, positively. She's also from the British Isles. But, really, what has that to do with our Peter? What makes her more qualified than, say, Fergie? At least Fergie has written children's books and knows how it feels to be reinvented after a timewarp.
As for me, my darling Peter will remain the same, old bunny, untarnished and just as I remember him. I'm boycotting the new, extended Peter. I just don't want the "facelifted" one on my mind...facelifts always make people look so not themselves anymore.
What are your thoughts on the matter?
Here's a copy of the article/announcement from GalleyCat by Maryann Yin, 9/15/11:
Oscar-winning actress and screenwriter Emma Thompson has landed a deal with Penguin Young Readers Group to write The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit.
The book is slated for release in September 2012 to commemorate the 110th-year anniversary of Beatrix Potter‘s The Tale of Peter Rabbit. The book will be released simultaneously in both the United States and the United Kingdom.
Among many other roles, Thompson played Harry Potter divination professor Sybill Trelawney. However, she is also a screenwriter. Her adaptation of Jane Austen‘s Sense and Sensibility won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay in 1996.
I'm waiting here to see how it all makes you feel. You can even let me have it, if you want. I may need input for another perspective!
Deborah/Your Bookish Dame