Monday, November 26, 2007
The Velveteen Rabbit, Overview
Author: Margery Williams
Illustrator: Don Daily
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Publisher: Courage Bks.; Revised edition (September 24, 2007)
First published in 1922, The Velveteen Rabbit begins with a boy who receives a stuffed rabbit for Christmas. The boy enjoys the rabbit for a little while but then puts it aside for other toys. The rabbit is soon forgotten and placed in the toy cupboard only to be snubbed by the fancier mechanical toys. The rabbit’s only friend is an old shabby Skin Horse who tells him that you become “real” when you are truly loved. One day the boy misplaces his china dog. For the next few seasons, the rabbit never leaves the boy’s side until the boy becomes ill with scarlet fever. When he recovers, he is sent to the seaside and all of his “diseased” toys, including the rabbit, are left to be burned. As the rabbit is waiting to be burned, he sheds a real tear. Suddenly, a magic fairy appears and turns him into a real rabbit.
When I was a little girl, I remember reading this story over and over again. The beautiful images, the vivid language, and the magic make this heartwarming story of a little rabbit who only wants to be loved one of my favorite stories of all time. It’s also a great story to put you in the holiday spirit. If you’re looking for a nice story to read with all of your children, I highly recommend The Velveteen Rabbit.
For Parents of Babies and Really Young Little Ones:
I tried to read this to my daughter last night, and she was entranced by the images for a while. Then she tried to rip the pages out. Not a reaction to the book—she’s in the “ripping” phase. She tried to rip the head off one of the characters in an Alice in Wonderland last week. Luckily, I found a number of board book versions of the Velveteen Rabbit on Amazon. Perhaps I will put one on my wish list.