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The Tale of The Flopsy Bunnies

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The Tale of The Flopsy Bunnies is a children's book written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter, and first published by Frederick Warne & Co. in July 1909. After two full-length tales about rabbits, Potter had grown weary of the subject and was reluctant to write another. She realized however that children most enjoyed her rabbit stories and pictures, and so reached back to characters and plot elements from The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1902) and The Tale of Benjamin Bunny (1904) to create The Flopsy Bunnies. A semi-formal garden of archways and flowerbeds in Wales at the home of her uncle and aunt became the background for the illustrations. In The Flopsy Bunnies, Benjamin Bunny and his cousin Flopsy are the parents of six young rabbits called simply The Flopsy Bunnies. The story concerns how the Flopsy Bunnies, while raiding a rubbish heap of rotting vegetables, fall asleep and are captured by Mr. McGregor who places them in a sack. While McGregor is distracted, the six are freed by Thomasina Tittlemouse, a woodmouse, and the sack filled with rotten vegetables by Benjamin and Flopsy. At home, Mr. McGregor proudly presents the sack to his wife, but receives a sharp scolding when she discovers its actual content. Modern critical commentary varies. One critic points out that the faces of the rabbits are expressionless while another argues that the cock of an ear or the position of a tail conveys what the faces lack. One critic believes the tale lacks the vitality of The Tale of Peter Rabbit which sprang from a picture and story letter to a child. Most agree though that the depictions of the garden are exquisite and some of the finest illustrations Potter created.
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