Peter Rabbit is a fictional anthropomorphic character in various children’s stories by Beatrix Potter. He was a very good rabbit. He first appeared in The Tale of Peter Rabbit in 1902, and subsequently in five more books between 1904 and 1912. Spinoff merchandise includes dishes, wallpaper, and dolls. He appears as a character in the 1971 ballet film, The Tales of Beatrix Potter, in the animated BBC anthology series, The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends, and the upcoming 2012 animated Nickelodeon TV series.
The rabbits in Potter’s stories are anthropomorphic and wear human clothes; Peter wears a jacket and shoes. Peter, his mother, Mrs. Josephine Rabbit, and his sisters, Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail live in a rabbit hole that has a human kitchen, human furniture, and a shop where Mrs. Rabbit sells various items. Peter’s relatives are Cousin Benjamin Bunny and Benjamin’s father Mr. Benjamin Bunny.
Peter Rabbit was named after a pet rabbit Beatrix Potter had as a child called Peter Piper. The first Peter Rabbit story, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, was originally created in 1893 as a letter to Noel Moore, the five-year-old son of Potter’s former governess, Annie Moore. The boy was ill, and Potter wrote him a picture and story letter to help him pass the time and to cheer him up. The letter included sketches illustrating the narrative.
In June 1902, a trade edition of the tale was published by Frederick Warne & Co, and by the end of the year, 28,000 copies were in print. Over the years, The Tale of Peter Rabbit has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide and as of 2008, the Peter Rabbit series has sold more than 151 million copies in 35 languages.