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The Case of "Peter Rabbit"

Using the example of "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" by Beatrix Potter to explore the impact of new media and technologies on how children learn about stories and reading, this book investigates nearly 100 re-tellings in a variety of media, some authorized by Potter's publisher Frederick Warne, some unauthorized. It looks at the implications of converging developments in children's literature: new media and technologies now readily available to children leading to new conventions and protocols of storytelling; changing commercial pressures on publishers and an emphasis on producing commodities associated with books and videos; saturation marketing which targets children and adults in different ways; and a cultural emphasis on the fragmentation, adaptation, and re-working of texts.
"The Tale of Peter Rabbit "is now available as picture book, chapter book, board and bath book, pop-up, video (in versions that adhere to the original story and versions that deviate radically to include "new adventures" or Christian messages), ballet, CD-ROM, computer disc, audio tape, and filmstrip. The character of Peter Rabbit may be purchased as toy, clothing, dish, ornament, wallpaper, food, paper doll, and much else. His story and that of his author, Beatrix Potter, reappear in fragmented form in other books for children, in a murder mystery for adults, and in a graphic novel for teenagers. This book raises questions about the impact of these developments on young readers. Index. Appendix. Bibliography.
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"Margaret Mackey had me riveted in fascination from beginning to end....[she] has performed a public service with this case study that is both detached in description and passionate in argument." -"Mythprint

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