Beatrix Potter, born July 28, 1886, captivated millions of imaginations around the world with her beloved creation Peter Rabbit. The mischievous and spirited young character brought the English countryside to life and has delighted many young readers for generations.
Potter, who died in 1943, has been singled out by none other than Canadian literary legend Margaret Atwood as being an important inspiration. Last year, Atwood contributed an essay explaining how Potter's stories changed her life as part of Canada Reads' Stories of Change
"Shall I invoke the collected works of Beatrix Potter, absorbed at an early age? Think of all the Potterian lessons that came in handy later! For instance: gentlemen with foxy whiskers who appear to be kind may have ulterior motives (Jemima Puddleduck); adventuring in dark places may be a great way to escape from tea parties, but you risk ending up in rats' puddings (Tom Kitten); placid surfaces may conceal sharp-toothed monsters (Jeremy Fisher); acts of altruism may generate unexpected rewards (The Tailor of Gloucester); true love is possible even if you're a pig (Pigling Bland)..."