Emma Thompson opens new “Peter Rabbit” library
Last week we posted that Emma Thompson (Sybill Trelawney) would be reading from her new children’s story in New York on October 2. Ahead of this appearance, however, Emma was in Manchester, UK yesterday (September 29) to open a brand new Peter Rabbit children’s section at Gorton Library. At the opening, Emma spoke to a group of school children and read from her new book, as well as unveiled a new plaque.
Peter Rabbit is a well-loved character created by British author Beatrix Potter first published in 1902. In 2012, Emma published the first of her authorized Peter Rabbit sequels, called The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit. This was followed by The Christmas Tale of Peter Rabbit last year. Emma’s next Peter Rabbit book, The Spectacular Tale of Peter Rabbit, is due to be published on October 2, the day that Emma is reading at Barnes & Noble in New York.
The Bookseller writes that the
Peter Rabbit space was created by Booktrust and publisher Frederick Warne, the original publisher of the Beatrix Potter books, now part of Penguin. Frederick Warne is also donating more than £1,000 worth of children’s books to the library.
On opening the library, Emma said,
For those of us lucky enough to have been read to as children, to have had access to books and libraries and to have had a love of reading [i]ngrained in us, we each have a spectacular tale we can refer to [that] inspired a lifelong love of books. Every child should have a spectacular tale in their life that can start them on their reading journey and get them off to a flying start in life.
Emma told the group of school children who were there to listen to her read about how her dad used to read to her:
He had a lovely, treacly, beautiful voice, and he read the Peter Rabbit stories to me.
Only he was terrible because he didn’t want to read the long ones to me; he only wanted to read the really short ones because he was very busy, and he wanted to go downstairs to have a nice cup of tea with my mum.
But I would make him read The Tale of Mr Tod, which was very long, and he would get quite irritable, but at the same time I think it was one of the things that influenced me maybe more than anything, being read stories.
So it’s so fantastic to open a space in a library – in a local library that’s not being closed, like so many are – and to be allowed to read to children in it.
You can see some more pictures from the event, and a video of Emma reading, here.
Did you read the Peter Rabbit books growing up? Are you able to get to see Emma read this week? Let us know!