The Story of the Fierce Bad Rabbit – Beatrix Potter

More in the Series – Beatrix Potter
“More in the Series” scores the other books in a series where one (or more) of the books have made it into the 1001 Books list. Mostly because I’m a bit of a completionist. 

POINTS: 2 out of 10.

Bechdel: 0 point
Variety of characters: 1 point
Good story:  2 points
Discretionary ideological points: 0 points.

One of the things I’ve always enjoyed about Beatrix Potter is that she doesn’t shy away from the realities of being a bunny in the world. In Peter Rabbit, we find out that his father was baked into a pie. And in this book, there is “a man with a gun”.

I think we have a tendency to think that kids can’t handle concepts of death and the fact that death is a part of the natural order, but that has never been my experience. I have a pretty sensitive kid, but he has no problem talking about these things.

All that aside, though, this book is not Potter’s best work. The narrative is a bit stilted, the language lacks her usual charm. I get the feeling tht maybe she was trying to pitch it at a younger audience (it has that “run, Spot, run” feel to it), but it doesn’t really work.

And at the end of the day the “man with the gun” doesn’t kill the “bad rabbit”, he just shoots his tail off.Before we got to that page, I asked C what he thought was going to happen, and he said, “I think he’s going to shoot him dead. He shouldn’t have stolen the other bunny’s carrot.” That’s some hard-core five year old karma.

No Bechdel pass, since there are no female characters (apart from one mention of the good bunny’s mother, but she doesn’t actually even make a appearance) and the only human in the book is the “man with a gun” who is a pretty standard white British dude.

So not a lot going on here, I have to say. Perhaps stick to her better known works. They’re better known for a reason, it turns out.

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