As babies and then kids, first came milk, then came weaning, then came Beatrix Potter’s books. I’m in fact haunted with memories of my mother dressing me as Peter Rabbit on various world book days because she had lovingly sewn a costume for me. This became uncool at around the age of 12.
But what is cool is this. Penguin Random House is releasing a special edition collection of redesigned novels to celebrate 150 years since the birth of Beatrix Potter by teaming up with come iconic fashion designers. The titles include The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck, with cover designed by Henry Holland, The Tale of The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin by design duo Preen, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle by Orla Kiely, The Tale of Tom Kitten by pop band-cum-fashion label Rodnik Band and The Tale of Peter Rabbit by luxury knitwear/street-wear label Cats Brothers.
My two personal favourites being Cat Brothers reimagining of Peter Rabbit and Rodnik Band’s The Tale of Tom Kitten. Whether or not this is because these two were my favourite books already… Perhaps.
The original illustrations and stories still resonate with me today, stirring up a certain type of nostalgia for simpler and less flashy times. Although the innocence of her original illustrations still appeal to me as an older reader, I can see why Penguin Random House have chosen to jazz them up a bit in order to catch the attention of the little Tom Kittens of today, who I believe see the world as a video game!
The news of the books’ makeover has had a mixed reception, with purists wildly in favour of the original front covers. To these purists I say “Cheer up!” you do not need to buy these or even acknowledge their existence. To those comfortable with change, then these fashion friendly books will bring a smile to your face and some style to your bookshelf. In fact, let’s just say they make for a great shelfie! Available to buy from the 7th of July but you can pre-order them now for £6.99 from Waterstones. Get busy…