Thompson and Taylor offer a second story in their charming series revisiting the beloved Beatrix Potter rabbit characters, following The Further Adventures of Peter Rabbit (2012).
This time the plot focuses on the main dish for Mr. and Mrs. McGregor’s Christmas dinner: not rabbit pie this time but roast turkey. Peter Rabbit and his cousin Benjamin Bunny are friends with William the turkey, “a puffed-up person, full of his own importance.” He struts about the farmyard oblivious to upcoming holiday dinner plans, thinking he will be a guest rather than the entree at the McGregors’ table. Peter and Benjamin try various schemes to hide William from Mr. McGregor and his ominous cleaver, eventually camouflaging their friend on Mrs. McGregor’s hat stand among other feathered bonnets. Thompson’s engaging text is filled with droll humor and old-fashioned but clever turns of phrase that echo Potter’s literary style. Similarly, Taylor’s sweetly comical watercolor illustrations pay homage to the original Peter Rabbit characters without being exact copies, and the large trim differentiates this new series from the tiny classic volumes.
Sensitive children might think differently about eating turkey after reading of William’s narrow escape, and purists may wince at recycling Peter and pals, but this amusing story of the conceited turkey and his helpful rabbit friends is a tale well-told. (author’s note, CD of author reading story) (Picture book. 4-7)