Emma Thompson's new Peter Rabbit adventure

Actress Emma Thompson was asked by the publisher of Peter Rabbit to write a new adventure for the beloved children's book character

Oscar-winning stars are no stranger to reviving treasured movie franchises, but celebrated British actress Emma Thompson is taking the unique step of furthering a literary legacy.

Thompson is the author of a new Peter Rabbit adventure, the first authorized sequel to the original stories by Beatrix Potter, first published more than a century ago.

The star of numerous films, including Nanny McPhee and the animated feature Brave, was invited to write a new Peter Rabbit book by publisher Frederick Warne in an appropriately whimsical way. In the summer of 2010, Thompson received a special delivery, apparently courtesy of the mischievous rabbit himself.

"I got a box with Tartan on it and inside there was a couple of half-eaten radishes and a little letter," she told the BBC.

"It said he'd heard I was bit cheeky, that he was getting on in years, and he wanted another outing."

further-tale-peter.jpgThe Further Tale of Peter Rabbit, which is released this week, finds Peter travelling to the Scottish Highlands where he meets a distant relative named Finlay McBurney. Thompson has always had a deep love for the country, where her mother is from, having spent her childhood summers in bucolic Perthshire.

"I thought he ought to have an adventure up north, so I did."

Thompson has said she is a great admirer of Beatrix Potter and that taking on the Peter Rabbit legend was like "holding hands with someone I have always revered."

Are you excited that the story of Peter Rabbit is continuing or not in favour of it? Are there any classic children's books you'd like to see revived? Let us know in the comments below.