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The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin

Beatrix Potter

Book Overview: 

Squirrel Nutkin, his brother Twinkleberry, and their many cousins sail to Owl Island on little rafts they have constructed of twigs. They offer resident owl Old Brown a gift and ask his permission to do their nut-collecting on his island. Nutkin however dances about impertinently singing a silly riddle. Old Brown pays no attention to Nutkin, but permits the squirrels to go about their work. Every day for six days, the squirrels offer gifts to Old Brown, and every day as well, Nutkin taunts the owl with another sing-song riddle. Eventually, Nutkin annoys Old Brown once too often. The owl seizes Nutkin and tries to skin him alive. Nutkin escapes, but not without losing most of his tail. After this he becomes furious when he is asked riddles.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .This is a Tale about a tail—a tail that belonged to a little red squirrel, and his name was Nutkin.

He had a brother called Twinkleberry, and a great many cousins: they lived in a wood at the edge of a lake.

In the middle of the lake there is an island covered with trees and nut bushes; and amongst those trees stands a hollow oak-tree, which is the house of an owl who is called Old Brown.

One autumn when the nuts were ripe, and the leaves on the hazel bushes were golden and green—Nutkin and Twinkleberry and all the other little squirrels came out of the wood, and down to the edge of the lake.

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Community Reviews

Yes, I just read this 100-year-old story for the first time today. And:

1. Twinkleberry is a good name for a squirrel. So is Nutkin, but I was unprepared for Twinkleberry.

2. Old Brown is a patient owl. Seriously, with an upstart like Nutkin being all impertinent on his doorstep. It's a wonder he d...more

I remembering loving this book as a child, so I thought I'd give it a reread. I've always had a thing for squirrels, and I love watching them busy, gathering resources and in their own habitat. How anyone can dislike them completely baffles me!
This book isn't as good as the first book, but I enj...more

My curiosity was sparked by another review bemoaning this tale’s cruelty and its disparaging message to children. I can see where that reviewer is coming from. After all, in the end poor Squirrel Nutkin’s tail is broken in two, not to mention his spirit. Yet one can’t help but wonder about the co...more

My kid's grandma bought us a 12 book set of the original Beatrix Potter books. I'll be reviewing them at random and out of order.

This one has a real meanness to it. A lot of the Beatrix Potter books have some cruelty but maybe this is the worst in the set we have.

There are lovely illustrations of...more

The Tale of Lumpen Comrade Chichikov, by Comrade Nikolai B. Potter Gogol

All the Bednyaks from the village came to Kulak Brown's farm bearing a gift. They bore a large pot of okroshka for the Kulak, supplicated themselves and begged that he allow them to collect seeds from his fields for the next...more

There is a place in my heart that is reserved only for Red Squirrels. My boyfriend cannot get in there and neither can chocolate. It pains me that I had to go all the way from the North of England to Lyon, France, just to see a Red Squirrel.

I like to think of Beatrix Potter as an illustrator firs...more

In its day, this was a cautionary tale about the need for rambunctious kids to have good manners. Nutkin's behaviour was comic because in those days it would have been unthinkable for most middle-class kids to act like that in the presence of an older adult (Brown Owl is obviously an elderly Vict...more

This is a story about being polite verses being rude. Nutkin almost gets it in the end due to his rude behavior and he escapes at a price. I don't know why I didn't enjoy this as much as the first. My niblings didn't seems to be that into it either. Interesting. Still, that artwork is pretty. It...more

Staring at a bar of Swiss chocolate that I was kindly given earlier today, I had a moment of revelation: I knew, with unutterable certainty, what Squirrel Nutkin is called in French. And you see, I was right!

(view spoiler)[

(Not will not only vouch for the truth of this story, she very graciously refrained from... (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

Here's my traditional year start with a Beatrix Potter booklet.
Some Potter books are just very cute and this is one of them! It is the tale of naughty squirrel Nutkin. Every year, he and a group of squirrels go to an island in the middle of the lake, asking the owl 'Old Mr. Brown' who lives on th...more

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