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Shvoong Home>Books>Children & Youth>The Tale of Samuel Whiskers or The Roly-Poly Pudding Review

The Tale of Samuel Whiskers or The Roly-Poly Pudding

Book Review   by:Moth     Original Author: Beatrix Potter
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A classical book written and illustrated by a much loved children’s author whose characters have become an art form, decorating china, posters, and collectibles in shops everywhere. Mrs Tabitha Twitchit has three mischievous kittens, Moppet, Mittens, and the worst of them all, Tom. She wants to make a pudding and as kittens just get in the way, she puts them in a cupboard – at least Moppet and Mittens, for she can’t find Tom. She searches for him aided by her strict friend Mrs Ribby who happened to pop by. Mrs Ribby is of the “kittens must be beaten if they don’t behave” mentality and she is cross that Tom is so naughty, and even crosser when she learns there are rats about the place. While they are searching the big old house, Moppet and Mittens jump out of the cupboard, and mess about with the pudding. Suddenly frightened by two fat rats and leap headfirst into a flour barrel and milk jar where they are found by their mother and the increasingly outraged Mrs Ribby. Meanwhile, Tom Kitten, has hidden up the chimney because he didn’t want to be put in the cupboard, which I must say does sound a bit cruel to me. The chimney’s a perilous place because the fire is hot and crackling, and he is covered in soot. He knocks out a loose stone and peeping through the hole, he sees bones. Ignoring any thoughts that things maybe a little dangerous, and clearly totally unaware that curiosity killed the cat, he goes through the hole into a passage which leads to the back of a skirting board in the attic.
He has never been here before, and he soon learns why his mother has avoided the spot, for there sits a very large fat rat, called Samuel Whiskers who summons his bossy little wife to cook dusty, sooty Tom into a nice Roly-Poly pudding for tea. Anna Maria obliges and soon Tom is well wrapped up in the dough his mother has made, with only his head and tail sticking out. Rescue is at hand for Mrs Twitchit has sent for John Joiner, a very useful dog who has a bag of tools to help him get through floorboards. The rats abandon Tom and go and live in a barn and Tom is returned to his mother and the by now totally scandalised Mrs Ribby. Moppet and Mittens grow up to make an excellent living catching rats in the barn, for the farmer is now plagued with the descendents of Samuel Whiskers and Anna Maria. Tom, on the other hand, won’t go near anything larger than a mouse. The book is dedicated to Sammy, who is illustrated as a very large pot- bellied rat, who has an astonishing resemblance to the Samuel Whiskers in the story. First published:1908
Published: July 12, 2005   
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