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Cover image for Dear Peter Rabbit
Dear Peter Rabbit


1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Atheneum ; Toronto : Maxwell Macmillan Canada ; New York : Maxwell Macmillan International, 1994.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm
Presents letters between such fairy tale characters as Goldilocks, Baby Bear, Peter Rabbit, and the Three Pigs.
Reading Level:

780 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader 4.2.

Reading Counts! 4.1.

Reading Counts RC K-2 4.1 2.0 2952.

Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.2 0.5 12456.
Added Author:


Call Number

On Order



When Peter Rabbit is invited to a housewarming party by one of the Three Little Pigs, a behind-the-scenes adventure begins to unfold. This collection of previously unseen letters from the land of make-believe offers us a rare and fresh glimpse into the lives of well-loved characters. Along the way, Goldilocks makes a much happier return visit to the Bears' house, finds Peter Rabbit's lost jacket, and befriends Little Red Riding Hood. This delightful tale of interconnecting friendships, written by Alma Flor Ada and enhanced by Leslie Tryon's detailed and engaging pictures, is sure to warm the hearts of young and old alike.

Author Notes

Alma Flor Ada was born in 1938 in Cuba.

She has authored several children's folktales including "Encaje de Piedra" which earned her the Marta Salotti Gold Medal, "The Gold Coin" which won the Christopher Award, and "Gathering the Sun" which received the Once Upon a World Award. "The Lizard and the Sun/La Lagartija y el Sol" won her a Gold Medal from the National Association of Parenting Publications, and she was awarded an Accolade from the American Folklore Association for "Mediopollito/Half-Chicken". Her title "Under the Royal Palms: A Childhood in Cuba" won the Pura Belpre Award.

In addition to writing, she is a professor at the University of San Francisco.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 3-A series of lively letters penned by beloved storybook characters tells an entertaining and imaginative tale. As the Big Bad Wolf lurks just out of sight, Pig One writes to Peter Rabbit, inviting him to a housewarming party at his newly built straw house. Meanwhile, Baby Bear sends Goldilocks a note asking her to visit, admonishing her to ``knock on the door first before you come in.'' In reply, Goldilocks McGregor writes about vegetables missing from the garden and the ``tiny jacket'' and ``tiniest pair of shoes'' found by her father. Peter sends his regrets to Pig One; he caught cold while hiding from Mr. McGregor in a ``half-full'' watering can. Not to worry, due to uncontrollable circumstances the party will take place at Stick House at a later date. The chatty correspondence continues, culminating in a birthday party that brings the characters face to face. Carefully weaving together the lives of these literary favorites into a seamless plot, Ada uses familiar elements to create a convincing and intriguing make-believe world. In addition to being fun to read, the letters move events along quickly and create a unique voice for each author. Tyron's inviting illustrations, rendered in pen and ink with watercolors, add both detail and dimension. Whether author or recipient is depicted, the pictures include and expand on the contents of each letter. Drawings of Peter Rabbit and Mr. McGregor are appropriately reminiscent of Beatrix Potter's originals. Children will be enchanted by this opportunity to meet familiar faces in new settings.-Joy Fleishhacker, New York Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Reminiscent of Janet and Allan Ahlberg's hugely successful The Jolly Postman , this clever picture book creates a fictitious flurry of correspondence between such familiar characters as Goldilocks (here given the surname McGregor, with a wink and a nod to Beatrix Potter), the Three Pigs, Baby Bear, Red Riding Hood and Peter Rabbit. As the plot thickens (will Goldilocks make a return visit to the Bears' house? Will Peter Rabbit be well enough to attend the Three Pigs' housewarming party?), Ada inventively weaves together the criss-crossing letters, neatly tying up the loose ends with a finale wherein the entire assembly (except for the now-tailless wolf) shows up for Goldilocks's birthday party. Ada clearly had fun extrapolating the characters' private lives, and her sunny treatment finds ready companionship in Tryon's delicately colored, lovingly detailed pen-and-ink and watercolor art. A Spanish edition, Querido Pedrin , is being issued simultaneously. Ages 5-8. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

Detailed illustrations enhance a series of charming and informative letters that continue the tales of such well-known literary characters as Peter Rabbit, the three pigs, Goldilocks, and the big, bad wolves. At the conclusion, all of the storybook friends gather at a birthday party. Also available in Spanish. From HORN BOOK 1994, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

The events in four familiar tales are cleverly intertwined and reported in a dozen letters. ``Pig One'' invites Peter Rabbit to a housewarming, but he can't go because he's in bed sipping camomile; Baby Bear wants his new friend Goldilocks McGregor to visit; Pigs One and Two report that they're now safely with Pig Three; Peter gets an unexpected invitation from Goldilocks and compliments the three pigs on the wolf's-tail soup served at the housewarming they finally managed to celebrate; the wolf orders a new tail and swears off pigs and little girls. Red Riding Hood wraps up events in a letter to her grandmother, while Tryon (Albert's Alphabet, 1991, ALA Notable) visualizes them in an inviting fairy-tale world, gently recalling both Gustave Doré and Beatrix Potter with entrancing, delicately colored crosshatched detail. In addition to more obvious uses, try a dramatic reading of these pleasingly childlike letters. Also available in Spanish (ISBN: 0-689-31915-0). (Picture book. 5-9)

Booklist Review

Ages 3-6. Ada uses an amusing conceit to add to children's knowledge of the fairy-tale world. The text is a series of letters between such favorites as Peter Rabbit, Goldilocks, and one of the three little pigs, and there's even a hasty note from one big bad wolf to another. The letters loosely constitute a story, but it is the cozy feeling of seeing inside these characters' lives that is the book's real selling point. Tryon's ink-and-watercolor illustrations are a delightful complement to the letters, fresh and filled with the detail that brings a reader back for a second and third look. Especially amusing is the two-page spread featuring the letter from the three little pigs' wolf to Red Riding Hood's wolf, which reads in part: "Perhaps we would do well to change our diet. It is not a pleasant prospect, but it may be in our interests to avoid both young girls and pigs from now on." The picture shows a glum wolf having a replacement tail sewn on after the pigs have chopped off the original and used it for soup. --Ilene Cooper