Want to know one thing that really ticks me off? The simplification or "retelling" of classic children's stories, as if today's American kids aren't bright enough to understand long words or, for example, British language usage. It's one more symptom of the general dumbing down seen so often in many areas of life. Don't let me get started on that.
I've seen "retold" Peter Rabbit stories. That really gets my blood up, as I so enjoyed reading those stories, in their original form, with my own kids when they were small. Beatirx Potter was a master of economy and slyness of word in those stories, and no one ought to ever even consider changing a word. The words of Beatrix Potter are pretty close to sacred with me, and I'd love to see all little children have the chance to experience them. And we can hope that no one is ever presumptuous enough to fiddle with Ms. Potter's wonderful and timeless illustrations.
Today's New York Times contains a story of a Beatrix Potter exhibit currently on view at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Cambridge, Massachusetts. "Beatrix Potter in America" is a display of original artwork and Potter ephemera from American collections. Ms. Potter had long and friendly relationships with several Americans, including a librarian from New York City, and a young boy from Boston who gifted her with a pair of guinea pigs in the 1920s. Ms. Potter in turn gifted this boy with a good deal of her original artwork, which is the centerpiece of the show. The exhibit also includes items from the children's library at Princeton and the Free Library of Philadelphia.
The New York Times site may require registration to access, but it's free and well worth it IMHO.