Happy Birthday Beatrix Potter!! The English illustrator, born in 1866 has been one of my favorites since I was a little girl. I grew up being read to by my parents the little books by this favorite author and illustrator. Her fanciful animals dressed in quaint costumes delighted my imagination. Timmy Tiptoes, Tom Kitten and, of course, Peter Rabbit became familiar names around our house. Beatrix Potter was brought up in a strict household and discouraged against pursuing any type of education, but she was quite interested in flora and fauna and eventually did become an expert of mycology (the study of fungi). Potter discovered an important relationship between fungi and algae. She made a set of 270 detailed watercolors of fungi, which is in the Armitt Library, Ambleside. Her parents appointed her their housekeeper at age 15 and she worked in that capacity until age 30, secretly recording thoughts and fantasies in journals in her own special code. She published Peter Rabbit at age 30 and proceeded to become quite loved as a children’s book author and illustrator. Peter Rabbit became the oldest licensed character when the soft toy was patented in 1901. I have chosen to include a picture of one of my favorite characters: Tom Kitten.