Growing Reader

The Most Lovable Beatrix Potter Stories for Kids

by Jennifer Garry

Over 100 years ago, Beatrix Potter wrote stories of clever and naughty animals — and they are as relevant today as they were then. Her tales explore what might have been going on in the minds and family lives of animals who find themselves in sticky situations. The sweet, delicate watercolor illustrations soften the sometimes dark or stressful situations these mischievous little animals get themselves into.

Below are some of her most lovable tales of crafty, curious animals.

  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit

    by Beatrix Potter

    You can’t talk about Beatrix Potter without talking about the rabbit that started it all. This story centers on Peter, a naughty little bunny who runs off to Mr. McGregor’s garden even though his mom specifically warned him not to. After eating too much in the garden, Peter encounters Mr. McGregor and spends much of the remainder of the story trying to escape him. In the end, the exhausted Peter goes to bed early while his rule following sisters get to enjoy a delicious dinner.

  • The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies

    by Beatrix Potter

    In this story, Peter’s sister Flopsy and his cousin Benjamin Bunny (the star of his own book, The Tale of Benjamin Bunny) marry and have a horde of children. When the bunny family doesn’t have enough to eat, they visit a rubbish heap outside of Mr. McGregor’s garden. One day Benjamin brings his children to the heap and they stuff themselves with overgrown lettuce until they fall asleep.

    Benjamin is awoken by Thomasina Tittlemouse (of The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse) just in time to hide from Mr. McGregor, who has come to empty some lawn mowings. The little rabbits aren’t so lucky. Mr. McGregor scoops them up and puts them into a sack. Luckily, clever Mrs. Tittlemouse frees the bunnies by nibbling a hole in the sack. Benjamin and Flopsy fill it with rotten vegetables and the impish rabbit family follows Mr. McGregor home to watch the rest of the story unfold.

  • The Story of Miss Moppet

    by Beatrix Potter

    This story is a classic cat and mouse tale. Miss Moppet is a kitten who thinks she hears a mouse. Mouse peeps out of a cupboard, making fun of Miss Moppet. He’s not afraid of her. Miss Moppet cleverly draws Mouse in until he’s close enough for her to pounce. She catches him, ties him up in a duster, and then bats him around like a ball — unfortunately for Miss Moppet (but fortunately for Mouse!) she forgets there’s a hole in the duster and Mouse escapes.

  • The Tale of Two Bad Mice

    by Beatrix Potter

    This tale is a delightfully imaginative exploration of what could be going on in the minds of two little mice as they wreak havoc. Tom Thumb and his wife Hunca Munca sneak into a dollhouse thinking they’ve hit the jackpot when it comes to food. They are quickly disappointed when they realize the food is not real and they go on a wild, destructive spree. They break dishes, empty canisters, and tear up a pillow before they set about stealing things and taking them into their little mouse hole. In the end, the mice try to make up for their behavior by leaving a coin in the doll’s stocking on Christmas Eve and coming to sweep the doll’s house each morning.

  • The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck

    by Beatrix Potter

    Jemima Puddle-Duck just wants to have some babies but the farmer’s wife will not let her hatch her own eggs. So, Jemima takes matters into her own hands. She wanders off until she meets a gentleman fox who tells her he has a shed full of feathers that would be perfect for a nest. He tells her he’d be more than happy to feed her while she sits on her eggs and asks her to bring back some supplies that happen to be perfect for stuffed roast duck, although Jemima doesn’t notice. Her friend Kep the collie, however, is not so sure about this gentleman fox and brings some friends to check the situation out.