the Tale of the Pie and the Patty-Pan

by Beatrix Potter
64 pages, Picture Book
Reviewed by Jenny

A hilarious escapade over two pies.


Ribby has made a delicious pie — a mouse and bacon pie — and has invited her good friend Duchess over. Duchess accepts, putting aside her plans and the ham pie she had made to invite Ribby over to eat. And then it occurs to Duchess that Ribby was making that dreadful mouse pie. So, since both of them own dishes of pink and white, Duchess contrives to switch out the one pie for the other, and the results are a little hard to swallow.


Morality is never really addressed. Duchess is a bit deceitful, or she means to be, but she very nearly bungles her own trick. Ribby is a fairly considerate, thoughtful hostess, except that she made a mouse pie.

Spiritual Content



Thinking that it is her pie she is eating, Duchess believes she has swallowed the patty-pan when she cannot find it in the dish, and puts up quite a ruckus thinking she is about to die.

Drug and Alcohol Content

The doctor comes and gives Duchess a pill.

Sexual Content


Crude or Profane Language or Content



This is a riotous story. Duchess bungles over herself in her attempts to switch out the mouse pie for her own ham one, and ends up eating nearly an entire dish of mouse without realizing it. Ribby, listening to Duchess go into hysterics over swallowing an imaginary patty-pan, goes all in a flutter to save her. This is a cute and laughable story, as well as a jab in the ribs of social parties in Miss Potter’s time.

Fun Score: 5
Values Score: 4.5
Written for Age: 2-4

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