The Tale of The Flopsy Bunnies is a children's book written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter, and first published by Frederick Warne & Co. in July 1909. After two full-length tales about rabbits, Potter had grown weary of depicting lagomorphs, and initially did not want to create another rabbit story. She realized however that children enjoyed her rabbit stories and pictures best, and reached back to characters and plot elements from The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1902) and The Tale of Benjamin Bunny (1904) to create The Flopsy Bunnies. A semi-formal garden of archways and flowerbeds in Wales at the home of her uncle and aunt became the background for the illustrations.
In The Flopsy Bunnies, Benjamin Bunny and his cousins Peter and Flopsy are adult rabbits. Benjamin and Flopsy are married, and the parents of six children called simply The Flopsy Bunnies. Food is not always readily available to the large family and they are forced to resort to Mr. McGregor's rubbish heap of rotten vegetables for sustenance. Mr. McGregor catches the six Flopsy Bunnies after they fall asleep in the rubbish heap and puts them in a sack, intending to sell them for tobacco. When McGregor is distracted for a moment, the sextet is freed by Thomasina Tittlemouse, a woodmouse, and the sack filled with rotten vegetables by Benjamin and Flopsy. At home, Mr. McGregor receives a sharp scolding from his wife when she discovers the vegetables and believes her husband is playing a trick on her.
Modern critical commentary varies. One critic points out that the faces of the rabbits are expressionless while another argues that the cock of an ear or the position of a tail conveys what the faces lack. One critic believes the tale lacks the vitality of The Tale of Peter Rabbit which sprang from a picture and story letter to a child. Most agree though that the depictions of the garden are exquisite and some of the finest illustrations Potter created.
The Tale of Tom Kitten is a children's book, written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter. It was released by Frederick Warne & Co. in September 1907. The tale is about manners and how children react to them. Tabitha Twitchit, a cat, invites friends for tea. She washes and dresses her three kittens for the party, but within moments the kittens have soiled and lost their clothes while scampering about the garden. Tabitha is "affronted". She sends the kittens to bed, and tells her friends the kittens have the measles. Once the tea party is underway however, its "dignity and repose" are disturbed by the kittens romping overhead and leaving a bedroom in disorder.
Potter's career as a children's author and illustrator was launched in 1902 with the release of The Tale of Peter Rabbit. She continued to publish, and, in 1905, bought Hill Top, a farm in Lancashire, with the sales profits from her books and a small legacy from an aunt. Her tales then took inspiration from the farm, its woodland surroundings, and nearby villages. Work began on Tom Kitten in 1906 and its setting became the Hill Top farmhouse. Illustrations depict the interior of the house and the gardens, paths, and gate at the front of the house.
Twenty thousand copies of the book were released in September 1907 and another 12,500 the following December. Potter composed a few miniature letters for child friends as if from the characters in the tale, and, in 1917, she released a painting book under Tom Kitten's name. In 1935, two books of piano pieces and piano duets for children were published with one piece inspired by Tom Kitten and another by the Puddle-Ducks. Tom and other characters in the book have becomse the subjects of a variety of merchandise over the years including porcelain figurines and plush toys. The tale is still in print, and has been translated and published in several languages.
The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes is a children's book written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter, and published by Frederick Warne & Co. in October 1911. Timmy Tiptoes is a squirrel believed a nut-thief by his fellows, and imprisoned by them in a hollow tree with the expectation that he will confess under confinement. Timmy is tended by Chippy Hackee, a friendly, mischievous chipmunk who has run away from his wife and is camping-out in the tree. Chippy urges the prisoner to eat the nuts stored in the tree, and Timmy does so but grows so fat he cannot escape the tree. He regains his freedom when a storm topples part of the tree. The tale contrasts the harmonious marriage of its titular character with the less than harmonious marriage of the chipmunk.
The book sold well at release, but is now considered one of Potter's weakest productions. Potter never observed the tale's indigenous North American mammals in nature, and, as a result, her depictions are thought stiff and unnatural. Other elements in the story have come under fire: the rhymes, for example, reveal nothing about the characters nor do they provide an amusing game for the child reader in the manner of the rhymes in The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin. The storm in the finale is viewed as a weak plot device introduced solely to hurry the tale to its conclusion, and the marriage of the chipmunks has been described as "abrasive and shocking" and an impediment to the flow of the tale.
The tale's disappointing qualities have been ascribed to Potter's growing lack of interest in writing for children, to pressure from her publisher for yet another book, and to Potter's desire to exploit the lucrative American market. Potter's artistically successful books were written for specific children; Timmy Tiptoes however was composed for Potter's amorphous, ill-defined American fanbase. By 1911, the demands of her aging parents and the business operations at her working farm, Hill Top occupied much of Potter's time and attention to the exclusion of nearly everything else, and are accounted as some of the reasons for the author's declining artistry and her disinterest in producing children's books. Characters from the tale have been reproduced as porcelain figurines, enamelled boxes, music boxes, and various ornaments by Beswick Pottery, Crummles, Schmid, and ANRI.