Friday, 21 March 2014

A Peck of Pepper and other books about Peter

What are the odds of the first three books waiting to be listed this morning all having the name Peter in the title? Each was chosen at random, and it was only as I listed book number three that realisation dawned. Was it a coincidence or should I be looking for a hidden meaning?  

Peter and his Indian friends was first out of the box.  So maybe a trip to India is on the cards?


 Next Peter and the Wolf – now what could that mean?


And finally, Peter Pan and Wendy, maybe I really am going to be flying off somewhere! Or perhaps the universe is trying to tell me I'm away with the fairies  : )


Once I started thinking about the name Peter, I realised just how many times it appears in children's books.  This is one of my favourites, although the name doesn't appear in the title;  

A Peck of Pepper with pictures by Faith Jaques

Did you know? A peck is a unit of dry volume, equivalent to 2 gallons or 8 dry quarts or 16 dry pints. Two pecks make a keening, and four pecks make a bushel. 


A quick look through my stock produced a surprising number of ‘Peter Books’ these are just a few;

Peter and his puppy illustrated by Willy Schermele. Peter Graves an extraordinary adventure by William Pene du Bois. Peter Pedal by H. A. Rey.

Ezra Jack Keats Peter's Chair

Peter's Bird Friends written and illustrated by Helen Haywood. Peter and his magic pebble written and illustrated by Peter Schermele. Peter Pippin one of the Blackie's easy reading books illustrated by Frank Adams.

The Peter Stories - a series of little stories told by a boy named Peter. The picture in the centre is taken from Peter a Cat O' One Tail published in 1892 with illustrations by Louis Wain. The World of Uncle Peter - The paper dragon - when Uncle Peter sits down to draw strange things begin to happen. 



On the left Peter Pan illustrated by Nora S Unwin, on the right Peter Pan and Wendy illustrated by Michael Foreman.

Three of the most famous 'Peter characters' are probably Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie, Der Struwwelpeter (or Shockheaded Peter) by Heinrich Hoffmann and Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. Can you think of any more?

Update July 2016: All the books featured are now sold. March House books closed on my retirement in 2015, but I am still happily blogging here at March of Time Books. Your visits are always appreciated.

36 comments:

  1. Such a wonderful selection of 'Peter' books, I wouldn't have thought it was that popular a name. My interest piqued by this post I just know I'm going to spend the rest of the day driving my husband mad thinking of book titles with Peter in them.

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  2. Hi Tracy, I’ve been doing the exact same thing! Let me know if you think of any. Thanks for calling in, have a great weekend.

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  3. Dear Barbara first of all thank you very much for your generosity and support for the Red shoe walk.
    Wow such wonderful selection of books and what a coincidence that you thought of visiting India while I am just on my way to India today. I think flying to India may be on the cards for you after all.

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    1. Hello Shashi, how strange, maybe there is a meaning to it after all!
      I hope the Red shoe walk goes really well, and you manage to raise lots of money. Don’t forget to keep us posted.
      Have a safe trip, Barbara.

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  4. Thanks for sharing, Barbara!! A few of these were old friends, but it is also fun to see that some of my favorite children's book authors wrote Peter stories I have never heard of before.

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    1. Hello Teressa, always happy to share. There are a surprising number of books about Peter, it makes me wonder what other names are popular in children’s stories. I must look into it. Thanks for your visit. Barbara

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  5. Wow - Peter certainly is a popular name in children's books, I hadn't realised before.
    I too will be racking my brains for books with Peter in the title.
    I can't think of any more than you've mentioned just now though.

    Another gorgeous post dear Barbara x

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    1. Hello Yvonne, thank you for your kind words! I was surprised at the number of times Peter appears in children’s books. I don’t suppose I had thought about it before but seeing the three together set me off looking for more! I hope you have a fun weekend. xx

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  6. Oh! There's the story of Peter and the Wolf :)

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    1. You can’t have a post about Peter without including Peter and the Wolf! :)

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  7. What an amazing and wonderful collection of Peter books! Some I am familiar with and others I've never heard of. It looks like we missed out on a lot of wonderful children's stories here in America.

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    1. Hi Gayle, I always think we missed out because the Little Golden Books available in America in the 1940s, and 50s didn’t make it across to the UK. Or if they did I didn’t know anything about them. I was well into my 30s before I became aware of them. How different it is now with the Internet. Everything is available to everyone.

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  8. This is such an interesting post. I only know one Peter- but now that you mention it, the name does come up in so many texts. I always loved Peter and the Wolf! I will be looking for more Peters now. :)

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    1. Hi Stephanie, I bet you will think of more now! I had no idea there were so many, maybe I should do a series of post about books based on names. It would probably keep me busy for a good number of years! Thanks for your visit.

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  9. Peter is a popular name, from the bible to many book titles through the years. My son is is also called Peter, and one of his early books was Peter Rabbit! We also have that 1988 copy of Peter Pan and Wendy book. I also taught my son the rhyme Peter Piper pick'd a peck of......... he tried to teach it to his own daughter the other day that was funny!
    Julie xxxxxxxxx

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    1. Hello Julie, you were probably far more aware of all the ‘Peter books’ than I was. I knew of Peter Rabbit and Peter Pan, but many others had passed me by. I’ve known two Peters in my life; both were dependable and very likable. To me, the name conjures up someone who is quietly confident and very strong. I wonder if that describes your son.
      How lovely your son is passing on the things you taught him. Have a happy weekend. xxx

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    2. Do you know what that is my son!

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    3. I never doubted it! Have a great weekend.

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  10. You mentioned my ultimate favorite: PETER RABBIT. Oh Barbara, good morning! I am terribly late, but on this cold Saturday morning, I am enjoying my travels here in Blogland. Your collections always make me happy, urging me to go find a cozy corner with a book and just fall into the world and words I love. I hope you are having a splendid weekend my friend! Anita

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    1. Dear Anita, your visits are always perfectly on time! I hope you found that cosy corner and a good book to share it with. Happy weekend. xxx

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  11. I've never heard of those Peter books, and hey, there's a bike riding one. What lovely innocent illustrations there are in these books, so unlike children's reading matter today. I do have a Kobo edition of Struwwelpeter in German. Have a good weekend, it is so changeable up here today, brilliant sunshine and then it pours down. I keep threatening to cycle but think it will be cycling in the garage!

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    1. I must have been thinking of you when I included the bike riding one! We’ve had the same weather as you today, sunny and bright one minute and torrential rain the next. Keep dry and enjoy your next cycle ride (even if it is in the garage!) :)

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  12. I love your collection of 'Peter's' Barbara. You are so lucky to have them close to hand so you can compile them all together like this. Can't think of another story but with your peck of pickled peppers I do remember another nursery rhyme - Peter, Peter pumpkin eater :) xx

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    1. Hello Sharon, I had forgotten the words to Peter, Peter pumpkin eater, thank goodness for Google! Enjoy the rest of the weekend, I expect you have that long journey into work again on Monday. When I think of that I appreciate just how lucky I am. xx

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  13. Yea. Peter is a name I remember right from the moment I started reading in pre-school.

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    1. Hello Kelly, I guess that must have been Peter and Jane. Thanks for calling in and leaving a comment. Barbara

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  14. Hi Barbara, what a collection of 'Peter' books! Maybe it is calling out for you to go visiting India or Neverland. I'm most attracted to Keats's 'Peter's Chair' though I'm not sure why. One of my top favourite books ('Winter's Tale' by Mark Helprin) has got a protagonist - a thief, called 'Peter Lake.' I hear there was a movie made out of the book but didn't want to watch it in case it ruined my impression of the story. The novel was excellently written.

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    1. Hi Claudine, I quite fancy a trip to Neverland!
      There is something very enticing about the cover of Peter’s Chair, I can’t work out what it is, but I’m also drawn to it.
      I’m reading Philomina by Martin Sixsmith and although I would enjoy seeing Judi Dench playing the part I don’t want to watch the film for the exact same reason as you give.

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  15. Sweet! I never heard of the 1st Peter book but of course I loved the other two. I never knew what a peck meant and I never thought of looking it up. Thanks for explaining that.
    You sure do find some of the best books.

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    1. Thanks Donna. I don’t suppose a peck is something you would think about unless it was mentioned in conversation. I’ve used the word all my life but still had to look up the meaning!

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  16. When I was a littler girl, I used to think my second cousin Peter was famous because his name was in so many books (and in the Bible)

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  17. I have the 1988 Peter Pan book somewhere :) P.S. A small parcel is on its way to you (or will be tomorrow!).

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    1. Hi Nikki-ann, how exciting, thanks so much. Barbara x

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  18. You have a great collection of Peters... So many Peters in children tales.. I have never noticed . It seems to be a popular name for the characters.. Lovely post as usual.. that info about the peck is good. And the only book I have read with Peter is the Peter Pan one.Thanks for sharing ....
    PS I am sorry for being so late, though I know I am always late... :(

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    1. Dear Kokila, I’m so pleased you enjoyed the peck of Peters.
      You have nothing at all to be sorry about. It’s lovely of you to visit.
      Very best wishes, Barbara.

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I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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