The stories inside are: The Tale of Peter Rabbit, The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin, The Tailor of Gloucester, The Tale of Benjamin Bunny, The Tale of Two Bad Mice, The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, The Tale of The Pie and The Patty-Pan, The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher, The Story of A Fierce Bad Rabbit, The Story of Miss Moppet, The Tale of Tom Kitten, The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck, The Tale of Samuel Whiskers, The Tale of The Flopsy Bunnies, The Tale of Ginger and Pickles, The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse, The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes, The Tale of Mr. Tod, The Tale of Pigling Bland, Appley Dapply's Nursery Rhymes, The Tale of Johnny Town-Mouse , Cecily Parsley's Nursery Rhymes, The Tale of Little Pig Robinson, Three Little Mice, The Sly Old Cat, The Fox and the Stork and The Rabbit's Christmas Party
This was the first book I finished in 2013. I got the handsome volume from Bookdepository's 24 hour deals and was surprised at how beautiful the book is, at such a bargain (USD 20, I saw it being marketed at USD 70 in retail bookstores). The hardcover book has a lavish matte cover, plus a box. It's quite big and heavy, but makes for an excellent coffee table book, or to complete your fairy tale/children's books section at your home's personal library or the nursery.
I've never read anything by Miss Potter, although I did watch half of the movie and heard about Peter Rabbit quite a lot of time. I didn't know what to expect, but as soon as I opened page one, I was sucked into a world of countryside, of the woods and their inhabitants. The mice, the fox, the pigs, the birds, the squirrels, the fish, the frog, and the rabbits, especially, are enchanting. Each has a different set of characters, mostly naive, like a young child setting foot in the outside world for the first time. I love the rabbit stories best.
The illustrations are gorgeous, especially the color ones. They are the original, so I'm really impressed at the details and quality, especially as they were dated back to the end of 1800s and beginning of 1900s.
The stories are fun to follow, mostly with a moral story or two, but I have to say I get a little bored and confused as soon as I finish half of the book. The latter half has a darker tone, with longer stories, some nursery rhymes, and rather peculiar tales. I still enjoy most of them, and I love that the book retains everything original about Beatrix Potter's works, with a little backstory behind each. I like learning about her writing and drawing process more than the story themselves, as well as what she thought of when she created that particular story, whom she dedicated it to, and what the publishers thought of them. I find them rather enchanting.
So, this one's a treasure I will surely pass down to my kids someday :) I'm glad I get to read one of the finest children's classics of all time.