The first weekend in September heralds the arrival of a long-awaited new book that stormed to bestseller status the moment its release was announced earlier this year.

Seventy years after her death, Beatrix Potter's 'new' book The Tale of Kitty in Boots , which was released yesterday, has been top of the advance order lists in bookshops for months.

The release of the book has a special meaning in the South Lakes because it was here where the author wrote many of her best stories.

The Tale of Kitty in Boots was originally written in 1914 but for some reason Beatrix did not illustrate it and never got around to publishing it. More than 100 years later, Penguin Books have unleashed a young, refined Miss Kitty on the world to enchant children with her night-time adventures.

The one illustration by Beatrix Potter which was found accompanying the manuscript shows an elegant black cat, walking upright on her hind legs and wearing what is described in the book as "A gentleman's Norfolk jacket and little fur-lined boots". She is swinging a brace of dead rabbits (watch out Peter!) and carrying what readers will discover is her most treasured possession - her air rifle.

Some controversy was created when Penguin Books announced that they had chosen illustrator Quentin Blake to create images for the rest of the book. Blake is best known for his illustrations of Roald Dahl's stories. He is synonymous with cheeky depictions of Fantastic Mr Fox, George's horrible grandma, The Twits and The Enormous Crocodile.

Blake's instantly recognisable sketches are a world away from the sweet and quaint watercolours favoured by Beatrix Potter, but, for Kitty in Boots, they work rather well.

Kitty makes it clear from the beginning that although her owner - a kind old lady - thinks that she is a "serious, well-behaved, young black cat", she is really nothing of the sort.

Kitty is a rebel and enjoys sneaking out at night to go hunting with her ruffian friends.

Beatrix Potter actually wrote some fairly sinister things about country life. Including that Peter Rabbit's father was killed and eaten in a pie by Mr McGregor.

The Tale of Kitty in Boots could be viewed as a warning against poaching and a guide to how a young lady should purport herself correctly. As a result of forming acquaintances with some shifty characters such as Cheesebox, Winkiepeeps, Slimmy Jimmy and John Stoat-Ferret, Kitty finds herself in some very sticky situations. She learns from experience that a sensible young cat should perhaps stick to having afternoon tea and scones and catching the odd rat in her own garden.

There are some very welcome cameo appearances from a middle-aged, plump Peter Rabbit, wily old Mr Tod the fox and Mrs Tiggywinkle the hedgehog.

I really enjoyed reading this book as an adult because I noticed a lot more things about the characters. As somebody who owned every Beatrix Potter, complete with Flopsy and Mopsy bookends as a child, I couldn't wait to see if the book was as interesting when I read it first as an adult.

Miss Kitty, who actually prefers people to call her Miss Catherine St. Quentin, is a charming, rebellious and highly relatable character (even though she is a cat). The only irksome thing about her is that she is a truly terrible shot and has clearly never been taught a thing about firearm safety. Her air rifle seems to go off in every direction, causing havoc, and she only manages to catch one little mouse.

For children this book is still the perfect bedtime read because it includes adventure, roguishness, suspense and plenty of silliness. If you would like the chance to win a copy of the book for your child or yourself then please like and share this story on our Facebook page at: and visit our website to take our exclusive Beatrix Potter quiz.


Rare Beatrix Potter book is from print run of 500

Beatrix Potter celebrated by special film on 150th anniversary

Beatrix Potter acclaimed as a farmer ahead of her time



Beatrix Potter Quiz

Test how much you know about one of the Lake District's most famous writers and her creations in our quiz. Good luck!

When Beatrix was young she kept several small animals as pets, including mice and a hedgehog. What was the name of her first pet rabbit?





How many books were published in the Tales series?





What was the title of the last Tales book to be published in 1930?

The Tale of Johnny Town-Mouse

The Tale of Little Pig Robinson

The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies

The Tale of Ginger and Pickles

What is Peter Rabbit's favourite food?





Who played Beatrix Potter in the 2007 film, Miss Potter?

Nicole Kidman

Renee Zellweger

Kate Winslet

Emma Thompson

What type of animal is Miss Moppet?





Who owns the garden which Peter Rabbit visits to eat vegetables?

Mr McGonagall

Mr McGregor

Mr McGee

Mr McGiggle

In The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin, what is the name of the island which the squirrels visit?

Badger Island

Owl Island

Hedgehog Island

Fox Island

What is Peter Rabbit's mother called?





Beatrix Potter died in what year?





You can do much better!

Try harder next time

Good try

Well done!