Beatrix Potter on Delicious Words
The first bite of a crisp, juicy apple; the first sip of some steaming chicken soup; a big scoop of ice cream on a hot summer day: all these things can be just as delicious and exciting as tearing into a fresh new story with our kids. Although their stories might not be as fully formed or well-seasoned...yet, there can still be so much fun and excitement from building bite-sized snacks or even whole, wonderful experiments in eating together. If you've ever baked or cooked with children, you know that yes, it will be (very) messy, but the joy they get from measuring, mixing, rolling and cutting--and the pride on their faces when they serve and savour 'their' creations--makes the mess worth it!
A famed English writer, illustrator, natural scientist and conservationist, Beatrix Potter was best known for her imaginative children's books featuring nature and animals, namely The Tale of Peter Rabbit. However, Potter’s writing career actually began when she was a teenager, and she would design and print her own Christmas and greeting cards with her brother. Mice and rabbits abound in these fantasy illustration. Later, while writing to the children of her former governess, Beatrix invented a story about "four little rabbits whose names were Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and Peter." And this letter would go on to become one of the most famous children's letters ever, as well as the basis of Potter's illustrious career.
As this enticing quote by Beatrix showcases, a willingness to follow and explore her dreams and imagination—no matter how mundane—has been at the core of her writings. As parents and educators, we can equip our children with the necessary tools and skills for writing a beautiful story, but we should also show them the importance of following wherever their inspirations and interests might lead. We should introduce them to the excitement of that unknown, and give them time and space to explore. Underneath a pencil or a computer keyboard, new worlds can spring up and characters can come alive. And soon, we might all fall in love with creating our own unique, delicious casseroles of imagination.