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The Tailor of Gloucester

by Beatrix Potter
59 pages, Picture Book
Reviewed by Jenny

A cheery tale of mice, a cat, and a tailor at Christmas.

Plot

There was once a tailor in Gloucester, and he was the best tailor to be had. He cut and trimmed and sewed so thoroughly that there was only enough scrap left over to clothe a mouse. He made the most beautiful things for the most wealthy people, but he himself had only fourpence to his name. All alone he worked, from sunrise to sunset, with only the mice in his shop for company.

In the week before Christmas the Mayor of Gloucester ordered a fine jacket and waistcoat, for he was to be married Christmas Day. Diligently the old tailor worked and cut out all the fabric, but at the end of the day he lacked a spool of crimson twist. Home he went, and sent his cat out to buy the spool. But so poor was he that he fell ill, unable to finish the coat. So hearing his laments, the mice crept out of the woodwork and took up scissors, needles, and thread, to give the old tailor the best Christmas present of his life.

Morality

The morality in this story is impeccable. The tailor is the epitome of diligence, and while Simpkin the cat is at first petty and selfish, he comes to his senses when he sees the kind generosity of the mice. All in all it makes for an atmosphere reminiscent of Dicken’s A Christmas Carol.

Spiritual Content

None.

Violence

Simpkin tries to eat some mice and is very upset when the tailor lets all his mice go.

Drug and Alcohol Content

None.

Sexual Content

None.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

None.

Conclusion

This is a little more in-depth than some of Miss Potter’s other stories. While not as humorous, the story is all the same rewarding as a fairytale. Based on true happenings, this makes a delightful Christmas story of diligence and selflessness. The descriptions of the fabrics are tantalizing, the characters vibrant with life, and, as always, the illustrations are charming.

Fun Score: 5
Values Score: 5
Written for Age: 5-7

Review Rating:

Average rating: 5 stars
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