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See Peter Rabbit. He Looks Sad . . .

September 27, 1987

I told my 5-year-old daughter Elizabeth about the new watered-down version of Beatrix Potter's classic "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" ("Updated 'Peter Rabbit' Loses Its Classic Look" by Deborah Craine, Associated Press, Sept. 17). Looking at the photograph of Beatrix Potter that accompanied the Times article, Elizabeth wondered, "Is that why she looks so sad?"

Yes! She would be sad! If we want our children to become good writers, then we must read books of quality to them. The original "Peter Rabbit" is a wonderful adventure told in delightful language: "Mr. McGregor came up with a sieve, which he intended to pop upon the top of Peter. . . . "

It is the Ladybird Books managing editor who is "taking a very snobbish attitude." How dare he imply that "children who don't have a great deal of money and who come from homes where there are very few books" should be satisfied with a cheap imitation which may summarize the story but leaves out all the image-filled language? No! All of us deserve the real thing.

JILL COOPER

Torrance

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