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Monday, January 24, 2011

100 Years and Still Popular

Tonight I read The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes by Beatrix Potter to my daughter. The original book was published in 1911, 100 years ago. Wow! I've never really been a fan of Beatrix Potter, although I know someone who is a HUGE fan! I didn't really grow up on her stories, other than the most popular of all, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, of course. Despite my childhood lack of interest, she is still considered one of the most classic children's book authors (and illustrators) of all time.

So what can we as writers take away from my 100-year celebration of Potter's Timmy Tiptoes? The elements of all good fiction:

  • likable characters (The squirrel, Timmy Tiptoes.)
  • action (Collecting nuts.)
  • plot (How will he ever fit down the hole to collect the nuts? Why, he'll be much thinner after winter, of course!)
  • conflict (the birds cause the other squirrels to think Timmy Tiptoes took their nuts)
  • literary genius (I love how the birds' songs are meant to mimic actual bird songs.)
  • suspense (How will he be freed? Will his wife, Goody, ever find him? What is that little chipmunk up to?)
  • resolution (A storm chops off the top of the tree and Timmy Tiptoes escapes.)
Do you have a favorite Potter book? Which element of story-telling does it exemplify the most for you?

Keep on keepin' on!


  1. I've never read anything by Beatrix Potter, actually.

  2. Maybe you could venture out a bit and try The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

  3. I loved Beatrix Potter when I was young, although I don't know that I could narrow down a favourite now-- it's been too long! I always loved the illustrations best.

  4. Oh my goodness! I have to read this! Sounds a little along the lines of my WIP...

  5. I just picked up a Beatrix Potter book at a garage sale. Looking forward to it now.


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