The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots by Beatrix Potter and Quentin Blake

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The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots by Beatrix Potter and Quentin Blake

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A long-lost and previously un-illustrated story from Beatrix Potter. I have very mixed feelings about the illustrations.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 72/56m Date: September 2016
Publisher: Warne
ISBN: 978-0241247594

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At night a serious, well-behaved and (let's be honest) rather superior young black cat goes out hunting. Well, if we're being totally honest, there's a little bit of poaching in there too. By day she is Miss Catherine St Quintin, although her owner calls her Kitty. Other cats call her Q, or Squintums, but they are very common cats and Kitty's owner would have been scandalised had she known that there was an acquaintance. The reaction would have been even stronger had she known that Miss Kitty went out in a gentleman's Norfolk jacket and fur-lined boots. With a gun.

Oh, it's a lovely story, full of mistaken identities (Kitty sneaks out of a night, leaving a doppelganger in her place) and some devious villains (Mr. Tod is foxy as ever) and there are cameo appearances from Peter Rabbit (he's grown a little chubby as he's aged) and Mrs Tiggy-winkle, who is still taking in washing. There's enough that's new to excite but with a wonderful grounding in what we know, and love. The story will engage boys and girls up to about the age of 103. There's mild peril, but this is Beatrix Potter and you know that everything is going to turn out just fine. It's a story that will be read over and over again, not least so that you can laugh at Miss Kitty's ineptitude with a gun.

So, why only four stars? Well, I'm less convinced by the illustrations. We loved the work which Blake did with David Walliams. We thought that it was Blake's illustrations in The Heron and the Crane which made the story work. In both of those stories the combination was perfect. I don't feel the same sort of link between Potter and Blake. Potter's own illustrations were exquisitely detailed and a joy to study: I'll confess to being torn between wishing that the illustrator had been in the style of Potter and being grateful that there wasn't a conscious attempt to replicate the style, but on balance, Blake's almost cartoonish style doesn't work for me in this context.

We shouldn't lose sight though of the fact that the combination of a brilliant author and a great artist has brought us a story which we might not have had otherwise. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If you'd like to know more about Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit we can recommend The Ultimate Peter Rabbit: A Visual Guide to the World of Beatrix Potter by Camilla Hallinan.

Buy The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots by Beatrix Potter and Quentin Blake at Amazon You could get a free audio download of The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots by Beatrix Potter and Quentin Blake with a 30-day Audible free trial at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots by Beatrix Potter and Quentin Blake at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots by Beatrix Potter and Quentin Blake at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots by Beatrix Potter and Quentin Blake at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots by Beatrix Potter and Quentin Blake at Amazon.com.


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