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Velveteen Rabbit

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With all the warmth and magic of the original, this specially abridged adaptation tells the classic story of a toy rabbit's longing to become real.

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With all the warmth and magic of the original, this specially abridged adaptation tells the classic story of a toy rabbit's longing to become real.

30 review for Velveteen Rabbit

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rachel C.

    Beautiful and deeply touching. At Meredith's wedding last year, her brother and sister read a passage from this book, including the below - an inspired choice. "Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real." "Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit. "Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt." Beautiful and deeply touching. At Meredith's wedding last year, her brother and sister read a passage from this book, including the below - an inspired choice. "Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real." "Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit. "Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt." "Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?" "It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    A terrific book, even as an adult, but it gave me quite a scare as a little kid. See, I actually managed to get scarlet fever in the first grade, and because of The Velveteen Rabbit, I was terrified that someone was going to come in and force me to burn all of my toys like the kid in the book had to when he was sick. Thankfully, though, medicine advanced beyond toy burning in between the publishing of this book and 1982, so my G.I. Joes were safe.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Loretta

    What a delightful book! 🐰

  4. 4 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    I'm sure I wrote a review about this book on this site at one time or another....... The review may be lost ---my memories of this book never are! I own it....... Its a children's favorite! *Thanks Duane --for re-visiting of memories from when you recently read it!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Duane

    Shame on you "Toy Story", you knocked off "The Velveteen Rabbit' and didn't even say thank you. Of course this was published in 1922, seventy-three years before Toy Story, so most of today's children haven't read this, which is a shame because it's a sweet story, soft and gentle like the little rabbit.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sylvain Reynard

    Some children's books should be read by adults. This is one of them. It examines the transforming power of love.

  7. 5 out of 5

    K.D. Absolutely

    The Velveteen Rabbit or How Toys Become Real by Margery Williams Bianco (1881-1944) was originally published in 1922 when she was 41 years old. Tonight is my first time to read this book. Shame on me. It only took 15 mins to read it and at first I was totally not impressed. I thought I already saw the theme of previously-cherished toys being discarded either in favor of a newer or more hi-tech toy or when the child becomes an adult used in Disney/Pixar's movie Toy Story. I also thought I already The Velveteen Rabbit or How Toys Become Real by Margery Williams Bianco (1881-1944) was originally published in 1922 when she was 41 years old. Tonight is my first time to read this book. Shame on me. It only took 15 mins to read it and at first I was totally not impressed. I thought I already saw the theme of previously-cherished toys being discarded either in favor of a newer or more hi-tech toy or when the child becomes an adult used in Disney/Pixar's movie Toy Story. I also thought I already read about the realization of growing old or passing of time used poignantly in E. B. White's Charlotte's Web. However, check the years. Toy Story 1 was shown in 1995 and Charlotte's Web was first published in 1952. Hence, unless there were other children's books with the same themes earlier than 1922, The Velveteen Rabbit was the original. The story is very simple yet it strikes a chord in one's heart. It is about a stuff rabbit toy given to a boy on Christmas Day. Along with other hi-tech and shiny gifts, the little rabbit toy is not a big hit so he is kept in the boy's cabinet. One of them is an old wooden horse who tells the little rabbit that the latter can become real only when he is loved. One night, the boy's nanny cannot find her ward's bed companion toy so she gets the little rabbit. They seem to click so from then on, the boy sleeps with the little rabbit and brings him anywhere he goes. Being a stuff toy, the little rabbit has wear and tear: his color is fading, his hay-filled body is becoming out of shape, he is starting to lose his whiskers, etc. Despite those, the boy still loves him and this makes the little rabbit very happy. However, the boy gets sick with scarlet fever and the doctor orders the boy's parents to burn all his toys. If you check Wikipedia, the vaccine for scarlet fever was only discovered in 1924 (two years after the first publication of Velveteen. Then in 1940, the vaccine was eclipsed by the discovery of penicillin. So, the burning of the toys in 1922 was a sensible order from the doctor. I am not saying though that this book is better than J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan (1902) or Antoine de Saint-Exupery's Le Petite Prince (1945) or even A. A. Milne's Winnie The Pooh (1926). These three novels are far more comprehensive, multi-layered, imaginative and their characters are more memorable. However, the simplicity of The Velveteen Rabbit is its most endearing asset. The vulnerable and trusting little rabbit is much more endearing than the cockiness of Peter, the wisdom of the Little Prince and the cluelessness of Winnie. Don't read the part below if you are not my brother: To my brother who always likes to check if a novel has an allusion to sex, check this book out. The little rabbit is told that being worn out is the consequence of being loved. It does not matter if the little rabbit, because the boy loves him, later becomes out of shape, with faded color, loses its luster, with missing whiskers, etc because he is loved by the boy. Maybe Williams anticipated readers like my brother so she made both characters, the boy and the rabbit, as male ha ha.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Florencia

    This review was written months ago. A mix of Christmas, children, family, presents and literature brought it to the surface. Dec 19, 18 After watching another Friends marathon I noticed that The Velveteen Rabbit was mentioned twice. First, in a 1997 episode, "The One with the Dirty Girl" and four years later in "The One with the Halloween Party" since it was Chandler’s favorite childhood book. (That's not how a geek sounds.) I wrote on some review that I wasn’t particularly fond of rabbits. When I This review was written months ago. A mix of Christmas, children, family, presents and literature brought it to the surface. Dec 19, 18 After watching another Friends marathon I noticed that The Velveteen Rabbit was mentioned twice. First, in a 1997 episode, "The One with the Dirty Girl" and four years later in "The One with the Halloween Party" since it was Chandler’s favorite childhood book. (That's not how a geek sounds.) I wrote on some review that I wasn’t particularly fond of rabbits. When I read the The Book of Bunny Suicides, I think - that was fun. I had a couple of them as a kid and kept them at a safe distance. Brownish rabbits look more innocuous. I like the concept of white, fluffy, little creatures until they look at me with those disturbing eyes filled with blood. Sinister things happen inside those red pupils. And it doesn't get much better when one takes a look at the Velveteen Rabbit: It's chilling. Leaving that aside, a sitcom made me want to read this book and, following C.S. Lewis’ principles, I did. I found a charming tale I think I would’ve loved as a child. I liked the idea of how someone’s love makes you real – a foreign concept of great depth so easily forgotten. There's also a passage that reveals another essential notion to deal with superficial times. Weeks passed, and the little Rabbit grew very old and shabby, but the Boy loved him just as much. He loved him so hard that he loved all his whiskers off, and the pink lining to his ears turned grey, and his brown spots faded. He even began to lose his shape, and he scarcely looked like a rabbit any more, except to the Boy. To him he was always beautiful, and that was all that the little Rabbit cared about. He didn’t mind how he looked to other people, because the nursery magic had made him Real, and when you are Real shabbiness doesn't matter. Kids I know are going to receive books and/or cats. Never a rabbit from me. Feb 03, 18 * Also on my blog. ** Photo credit: True albino via Flickr Illustration by William Nicholson for The Velveteen Rabbit

  9. 4 out of 5

    Agir(آگِر)

    ‘What is REAL?’ asked the Rabbit one day… ‘Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. It’s a thing that happens to you…’ But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly

  10. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    First published in 1922, a REAL gem of a classic!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    I remember this book being devastatingly sad to me when I was a child. Upon re-reading as an adult, I got misty-eyed, but was not nearly as upset. I'm not sure if that's because I was more prepared for what would happen, if it was just a by-product of being a grown up, or if it has anything to do with seeming a bit old-fashioned now that the story is nearly 100 years old. In The Velveteen Rabbit, we follow a stuffed bunny from the time he enters a young boy's nursery one Christmas morning, throug I remember this book being devastatingly sad to me when I was a child. Upon re-reading as an adult, I got misty-eyed, but was not nearly as upset. I'm not sure if that's because I was more prepared for what would happen, if it was just a by-product of being a grown up, or if it has anything to do with seeming a bit old-fashioned now that the story is nearly 100 years old. In The Velveteen Rabbit, we follow a stuffed bunny from the time he enters a young boy's nursery one Christmas morning, through different seasons filled with play and growing love. But does the rabbit have what it takes to become Real? Is he loved enough? This may not have been quite as magical as I remembered, but it's still a lovely story with a message that hits the heart.

  12. 5 out of 5

    MissBecka

    Absolutely lovely!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Hilary

    Beautiful illustrations and a wonderful story about how toys become real when you love them enough, we knew that of course but we suspect some might not realise this so it has a very important message. There are some sad bits and it was hard to read aloud in places, but a happy ending!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Aryn

    This book scarred me for goddamned life. I still can't get rid of a stuffed animal. Do you have any idea how many stuffed animals live in my basement because of this book?

  15. 5 out of 5

    Terence

    This is my teddy bear: His name is “Teddy” and I have no recollection of getting him, but he has been with me for over 35 years. I can’t say that he and I were (are) as close as the Boy and his Rabbit. I have no memories of sleeping with him nor of fervently clutching him when afraid nor of making ersatz bear dens for his comfort but he was always on the periphery of my life. Lurking on top of my dresser, carelessly tossed on the bed or (today) carefully packed away with a few other childhood tre This is my teddy bear: His name is “Teddy” and I have no recollection of getting him, but he has been with me for over 35 years. I can’t say that he and I were (are) as close as the Boy and his Rabbit. I have no memories of sleeping with him nor of fervently clutching him when afraid nor of making ersatz bear dens for his comfort but he was always on the periphery of my life. Lurking on top of my dresser, carelessly tossed on the bed or (today) carefully packed away with a few other childhood treasures. And the idea of throwing him away or giving him to the Salvation Army is so fundamentally wrong that my stomach twists in dismay and I know – I know , even though I’m an atheist – that I will spend eternity in Hell if I ever do so. My friend at work has occasionally recommended this book to me as it’s one of her favorites. This is the same woman who got me the novelization of the movie J.T. for Christmas one year. I watched J.T. in the second grade, and I refuse to read the book because that experience so affected me that I don’t want to relive it. She also recommended the first Transformers movie. So you can see that I was wary about The Velveteen Rabbit but I was finally moved to read it by a chance reference in an essay I read in the October 29, 2012 issue The Nation, the following quote: “What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day…. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby…. But once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.” That observation resonated and I downloaded the eBook from the Project Gutenberg site. This is a marvelous story and I can easily identify with the Boy (and there’s a happy ending, unlike J.T.), and it’s going on my Christmas list for my youngest niece, who’s six.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Maggie Campbell

    "It doesn't happen all at once. You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real, you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

  17. 4 out of 5

    Emily May

    What a beautiful and touching story. I was truly blown away by it's originality and subtle message... there is nothing much else to say: it is a heartbreaking story. I cried and cried and just wanted the opportunity to love the Velveteen rabbit forever.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bionic Jean

    At what age does a child learn what is real? How long does the blurring between fantasy and reality persist, for a young child? And when harsh reality kicks in with a vengeance, isn’t a little bit of magic lost forever? The loss of childhood innocence is always poignant. Adults sometimes continue to live in our imaginations and dreams through stories, so we may manage to hang on to a little bit of this magic through our adulthood. The Velveteen Rabbit (or How Toys Become Real), is a much-loved cla At what age does a child learn what is real? How long does the blurring between fantasy and reality persist, for a young child? And when harsh reality kicks in with a vengeance, isn’t a little bit of magic lost forever? The loss of childhood innocence is always poignant. Adults sometimes continue to live in our imaginations and dreams through stories, so we may manage to hang on to a little bit of this magic through our adulthood. The Velveteen Rabbit (or How Toys Become Real), is a much-loved classic book from 1922. The story speaks to children, especially the shy introverts or dreamers, who love the magic of it all. For adults, it may lift us back into the dreamy world of childhood, when anything is possible, and nothing is set in stone. It deals both with what is “real”, and also explores the world of the imagination, and possibilities beyond the literal truth. In some ways, it encourages the child to think about the bigger questions of life and the universe. And, as with all good fantasy, it poses the question, “What if?” The author Margery Williams Bianco drew from her own experience to write The Velveteen Rabbit. She had been born in London, but her father died when she was seven years old, and the family went to America to live just two years later. She actually became a professional writer at 19, but she only started writing for children much later, when her own children had grown up. After her early emigration to the United States, Margery lived in a rural Pennsylvania farming community. At nineteen she returned to London, to try to sell some of her work. Some of it was published, but none was very successful. While visiting her publisher, Margery Williams met Francesco Bianco, an Italian living in London, who was employed as the manager of one of the book departments. The two were married, and had two children. Margery Williams Bianco had strong memories of her own early childhood, and of her father, a deeply loving and caring parent, who had encouraged both her and her older sister to read and use their imaginations. She recalled the way her father described characters from various books to capture her imagination, and tempt her with their amazing worlds within. Her strong desire to read soon developed into a need to write for herself, and she now realised these were both instilled in her at an early age by her father. Margery Williams Bianco found that all the memories of the toys which had been such an important part of her life surged to the fore. At the age of 41, she wrote her first children’s novel The Velveteen Rabbit, realising that children’s lives are enriched by toys whose personalities they have created while playing with them. The story tells of a stuffed rabbit, splendidly sewn from velveteen. A small boy finds him in his Christmas stocking and is enchanted with his new present, playing with nothing else for about two hours. But then the velveteen rabbit is forgotten, and put away to live in the toy cupboard, or abandoned on the nursery floor. The velveteen rabbit is quite shy though, and doesn’t really mind. But because the rabbit is made of velveteen, some of the other toys snub him. They are modern and mechanical, and they think a toy rabbit made of velveteen is very old-fashioned. Even Timothy, a jointed wooden lion, looks down on him. However, there is a wise old toy in the nursery, a Skin Horse, who is kind to him. The velveteen rabbit is curious about what it means to be real, and whether these more expensive toys are more real than him. But the Skin Horse insists: “Real isn’t how you are made … When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.” The velveteen rabbit is very much in awe of this idea. He wants to know if it would hurt, or take very long to happen, but doubts whether it would happen to him for a long time. “When you are real, you don’t mind being hurt,” said the wise Skin Horse. One night, when Nana is bustling around tidying the nursery, she cannot find the boy’s favourite toy, a china dog, for him to take to bed with him. So she gives him the velveteen rabbit to sleep with, instead. The velveteen rabbit loves this time when he can snuggle down with the little boy, and grows to feel special. The little boy tells him about the tunnels that the real rabbits live in, and makes tunnels for him under the bedclothes. The velveteen rabbit is very happy. He has become the little boy’s favourite toy. “Spring came, and wherever the boy went, the rabbit went too.” He did not notice that his coat was getting shabby and worn away in places. Then the big moment came. Nana was sent out to look for the rabbit, who had accidentally been left outside after a picnic, and she was cross at all the fuss being made for a toy. But the little boy insisted the velveteen rabbit was not just a toy: “He’s REAL”. When the rabbit heard this he was so proud, and felt so much love himself for the little boy, that he felt his heart would burst. Time passed. In the summer, he came across some wild rabbits. He was fascinated by them, but realised that they could do much more than he could. They could run, and jump, and hop, and even dance! The velveteen rabbit tried to cover up the fact that he had no hind legs, but eventually the wild rabbits realised that he could not hop as they did, and he didn’t smell right at all. They decided that he was not a real rabbit, and ran away. The velveteen rabbit was so very sad. After all, he knew he was real! The velveteen rabbit becomes older and even shabbier, but he is happy, because the boy still loves him. That is, until one day the boy (view spoiler)[ becomes ill with scarlet fever, and the doctor says that the boy should be taken to the seaside to recover. But what of the velveteen rabbit? The doctor says he would be a mass of germs, and instructs Nana to put him outside and left out in the garden for the gardener to burn. Overnight, the velveteen rabbit sadly reflects on his life. What is the use of being real, if it all ends like this? He cries, a real tear falling from his velvet nose, onto the ground. The there is more magic. A beautiful flower appears where the tear fell, and a fairy steps out of the flower, to comfort the velveteen rabbit. She explains that she is the Nursery Magic Fairy, who takes care of all the playthings that the boy has loved, and turns them into “Real”. And then she says another marvellous thing. Because the velveteen rabbit has become Real to the boy who truly loves him, she will make him become Real to everyone. The fairy takes the rabbit to the forest, where the wild rabbits live, and gives the velveteen rabbit a kiss. Instantly he is changed into a real rabbit, although it takes a long time for him to realise this. “He actually had hind legs! He gave one leap, and the joy of using those hind legs was so great, that he went springing about the turf. He was a Real Rabbit at last!“ The next spring, when he is playing in the forest, the boy spots the rabbits, and especially notices one, who looked exactly like the velveteen rabbit who had got lost when he had scarlet fever. But he was not to know that this really was his own toy rabbit, whom he had helped to become Real. (hide spoiler)] This is a magical, wondrous story. What is it that makes something real in our minds? For an adult, many things are intangible, yet they are powerfully real. So it is for children. A velveteen rabbit is an object which can be touched, and seen, and played with. It is real in a physical sense. But also, it behaves as if it is real. The toy rabbit can breathe, he can cry, and he has emotions. He can become real in a different sense, when he is loved enough. But the story has a third level of reality in the story, (view spoiler)[when the toy becomes a flesh and blood rabbit (hide spoiler)] . “The mechanical toys, like the model train, were very stuck-up and boasted that they were real. But the Rabbit could not claim to be a model of anything, for he didn’t know that real rabbits existed…” This is a particularly nice picture edition of the story, from 2002. It is simply but elegantly told, and beautifully illustrated with naturalistic soft watercolours, by the award-winning duo, Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher. Steve Johnson is the illustrator, and Lou Fancher has adapted Margery Williams Bianco’s story for very young children, including much of her original text. There have been many adaptations of this favourite book, both in print, and on film and stage. It remains her most popular work. Margery Williams Bianco’s writing is unique, combining the innocence, playfulness and imaginative ability of children, with her trademark undercurrents of sentimentality and sadness. Invariably her books end on an inspirational uplifting note. Perhaps it is this which made her so immediately successful. Although for the remaining two decades of her life, she wrote many more books and short stories for children, all with similar themes, there are undercurrents of sadness. The stories are poignant, and a little melancholy, with themes of loss and death present in all her children’s books. Most of them display her preoccupation with toys coming to life and the ability of inanimate objects and animals to express human emotions and feelings. Margery Bianco Williams always maintained that we grow and learn greater humanity through pain and adversity. The Velveteen Rabbit also has this at its core. Yet it is perfectly balanced. All such stories acquire a sort of magic through the child’s own experience, and their subsequent nostalgia. There is sadness in The Velveteen Rabbit, but in the end the reader ends feeling optimistic and uplifted.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Manybooks

    A simple but profound story of how one small toy velveteen rabbit becomes "real" (through so-called nursery magic and because the velveteen rabbit is perceived as being real by the young boy who sleeps with it every night and plays with it every day), but I do have to admit that I am actually more than a bit glad I did NOT encounter Margery Williams Bianco's classic as a very young child (for I did indeed and very much akin to the Boy own a stuffed rabbit toy that was in many ways exactly the sa A simple but profound story of how one small toy velveteen rabbit becomes "real" (through so-called nursery magic and because the velveteen rabbit is perceived as being real by the young boy who sleeps with it every night and plays with it every day), but I do have to admit that I am actually more than a bit glad I did NOT encounter Margery Williams Bianco's classic as a very young child (for I did indeed and very much akin to the Boy own a stuffed rabbit toy that was in many ways exactly the same kind of constant companion as is featured in the Velveteen Rabbit and quite frankly, I am rather sure I would have majorly and totally out at the scene where the doctor orders all of the Boy's books and toys, including his velveteen rabbit, to be burned because of the scarlet fever infection risk, with the fact of the physician more than likely being right with regard to the need to sanitise and disinfect the Boy's bedroom, including getting rid of certain very much contaminated and germ-ridden toys and books quite notwithstanding). And also, really, and with my apologies to those of you who consider The Velveteen Rabbit a total childhood favourite, reading the book always makes me (on a personal and emotional level) feel rather frustrated with and even a bit angry at the Boy. For if this had been MY toy rabbit, I absolutely and definitely would have at least verbally and with angry tears rebelled and loudly complained at having my toys and books (and especially my favourite stuffed animal) burned (even if ordered by the doctor, even if for legitimate and realistic reasons, and truth be told, although as an adult, I do understand and appreciate why the doctor feels that the Boy's scarlet fever exposed books and toys need to be destroyed in order to keep potential reinfection at bay, I have still always despised the doctor's rather callous attitude and words, for they just seem so very coldly unfeeling and careless, they seem to consider the velveteen rabbit that is supposed to be burned as just some random and unimportant toy). But then again, even the Boy himself seems rather nonchalant at best towards what is happening, being described by Margery Williams Bianco as considerably more excited about and hankering after his promised recuperative trip to the seashore than in any way being sad about or angry at the doctor having ordered his treasured toys and books, including his constant velveteen rabbit companion, to be incinerated. And indeed to and for me, the ending of The Velveteen Rabbit (with the toy rabbit actually being turned by the fairy into a real, into a bona fide bunny rabbit) is therefore and actually in many ways really quite massively bittersweet and even a bit painful. For the stuffed rabbit was totally and utterly real to the Boy because he considered his velveteen rabbit as real, he perceived it as being a true rabbit and a true friend, but in some ways (at least in my opinion), that very magical type of reality seems to kind of leave and disappear at the end, when the Boy just and simply accepts with not even one word of complaint and protest the doctor's orders that his toys must be destroyed, that even his special rabbit toy must be burned (and while I am well aware of the fact that I am more than likely imposing my own personal feelings here, I do stand by how I have always felt reading The Velveteen Rabbit, and that the Boy just calmly, without protest seems to accept his stuffed rabbit toy needing to be destroyed, this has indeed and in fact always somewhat majorly chafed and has also therefore generally left me more than a bit uncomfortable and unsatisfied with regard to Margery Williams' Bianco's The Velveteen Rabbit).

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tisha

    It's one of my hobbies to read the books which come up in movies or tv series. I don't know why it makes me happy! So, for this one, I have to thank Chandler Bing from FRIENDS! :D I totally loved this book! It reminded me of 'Toy Story' though, my all time favorite animated film! Awwww, the velveteen rabbit! My eyes were almost teary until the fairy came! :'( Beautiful book with some beautiful writings! ^_^

  21. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Darling

    My favorite book of all time . . . .with timeless themes of love and loss. If you've never heard Meryl Streep pitch-perfect reading of this book, or seen David Jorgensen's beautiful drawings, you've never really experienced it properly.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Pramod Nair

    There was once a velveteen rabbit, and in the beginning he was really splendid. He was fat and bunchy, as a rabbit should be; his coat was spotted brown and white, he had real thread whiskers, and his ears were lined with pink sateen. On Christmas morning, when he sat wedged in the top of the Boy's stocking, with a sprig of holly between his paws, the effect was charming. Originally published in 1922, The Velveteen Rabbit (or How Toys Become Real) is a classic children’s story by the English-A There was once a velveteen rabbit, and in the beginning he was really splendid. He was fat and bunchy, as a rabbit should be; his coat was spotted brown and white, he had real thread whiskers, and his ears were lined with pink sateen. On Christmas morning, when he sat wedged in the top of the Boy's stocking, with a sprig of holly between his paws, the effect was charming. Originally published in 1922, The Velveteen Rabbit (or How Toys Become Real) is a classic children’s story by the English-American writer Margery Williams Bianco. A beautiful story with deep insights in to life, relations and what it means to be real, ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ can make even adult readers feel emotional. The story of the toy rabbit who longed to be real On a Christmas day, a boy gets a cute velveteen rabbit as a gift. It was a simple but beautiful toy, made out of velveteen. The boy received so many presents that Christmas, and after a brief instance of attraction, the boy forgets about the rabbit. The boy plays with more expensive toys, while the rabbit is left in the boy’s nursery all forgotten for a period of time. A lovely illustration by William Nicholson, a British painter and illustrator, from the 1922 Heinemann Edition of ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’. The other toys, the more expensive and more complex, mechanical one’s, in the boy’s nursery, snubs the velveteen rabbit because he was a simple toy made out of cloth and stuffed sawdust. He was not expensive or he was not sophisticated like the mechanical toys, who thought themselves as superior and looked down upon other toys with disdain. They pretended they were REAL. The velveteen rabbit, who was so humble and simple, didn’t even knew there were real rabbits in the world, and thought that everything had sawdust stuffing inside. The derisive comments from the other toys made him feel so insignificant and commonplace. The only toy to be kind to him was the skin horse, the oldest toy in the boy’s nursery. He was shabby in appearance with bald patches on his skin, and he was a long used and long loved toy. The skin horse, who was wise and experienced, tells the rabbit about nursery magic and how the love from their young owners can transform toys into real. The scene where the skin horse explains the velveteen rabbit about ‘what is real’ is a fine example of the power that Margery Williams conjures up through simple words. " Real isn't how you are made, " said the Skin Horse. " It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real. " " Does it hurt? " asked the Rabbit. " Sometimes, " said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. " When you are Real you don't mind being hurt. " " Does it happen all at once, like being wound up, " he asked, " or bit by bit? " "It doesn't happen all at once, " said the Skin Horse. " You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand. " The velveteen rabbit was so smitten by the notion of nursery magic that he longed to become real. A chance incident brings the velveteen rabbit and the boy together and soon the rabbit becomes the boy’s most loved toy and best friend. The happy moments that the rabbit spends playing with the boy, becomes the most precious thing for him. The rest of the story melancholically narrates how the nursery magic happens for the velveteen rabbit. The story of the velveteen rabbit will show young readers how a person becomes real – the magical transformation of the toys into real within the story - through love and insight gained over ages. While reading the story, young readers will come across the concepts of loss and sadness, and will learn that both happiness and sadness are all part of our life. The narrations, of unconditional love from the boy towards his favorite toy, the velveteen rabbit, the descriptions of rabbit’s adoration of the boy, and the sentiments that happen to the rabbit because of his longing to become real, are powerful enough to make the reader choke with emotions. The story tells us how plain unconditional love can allow one to surpass the feelings of ridicule, abandonment, sadness and rejection from others. This is a perfect children’s book that is suitable for a parent-child read-along session and is highly recommended even for adult readers.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ronyell

    “The Velveteen Rabbit” is Rabbit Ears’ first classic story that is based off of Margery Williams’ popular tale and it is about how a toy rabbit learns the true meaning of being real. With Meryl Streep’s tender narration, George Winston’s soft music and David Jorgensen’s beautiful illustrations, “The Velveteen Rabbit” is an instant classic that children will watch over and over again. What made this video truly memorable was Meryl Streep’s tender and soothing narration. Meryl Streep gives the st “The Velveteen Rabbit” is Rabbit Ears’ first classic story that is based off of Margery Williams’ popular tale and it is about how a toy rabbit learns the true meaning of being real. With Meryl Streep’s tender narration, George Winston’s soft music and David Jorgensen’s beautiful illustrations, “The Velveteen Rabbit” is an instant classic that children will watch over and over again. What made this video truly memorable was Meryl Streep’s tender and soothing narration. Meryl Streep gives the story a very subtle mood by narrating in a graceful and soft-spoken tone that many children will be mesmerized by her narration. Meryl Streep has also done a brilliant job at expressing the various emotions that each of the characters experience throughout the story. The scene where I think that Meryl Streep’s narration stood out the most was the scene where the real rabbits tell the Velveteen Rabbit that he is not real and the Velveteen Rabbit begins to cry and Meryl Streep actually sounds like she is about to cry in this scene which truly brought out the realism of the situation in this scene. George Winston’s piano solo music is extremely beautiful and engaging, as his music is both happy and sorrowful, depending on the scene. The scene where I think that George Winston’s musical abilities truly shine was the scene where one of the real rabbits was dancing in front of the Velveteen Rabbit and George Winston plays the piano in such a dramatic and fast paced tone that I found myself loving every second of that scene. The video’s true highlight is David Jorgensen’s illustrations as they are extremely beautiful and captivating. David Jorgensen makes all the characters look extremely realistic, which gives the story a sense of realism and the images that stood out the most to me were the images of the real rabbits, as they look realistic and beautiful. “The Velveteen Rabbit” is a beautiful story about knowing the importance of true love and children will easily relate to this story as they will feel sympathy for the Velveteen Rabbit trying to find the true meaning of being real. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since small children might be upset at the fact that the Velveteen Rabbit feels upset when he realizes he is not like the other real rabbits. For more Rabbit Ears titles, check out: The Fool and the Flying Ship John Henry How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin Princess Scargo and the Birthday Pumpkin: The Native American Legend Peachboy: A Japanese Folktale Pinocchio This story is also available on DVD through the Rabbit Ears Website and Amazon. Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

  24. 5 out of 5

    Audrey

    Such a beautiful beautiful story. During my second year of teaching, I started taking 30 minutes or so on Fridays to read a children's story to my juniors, and then we'd discuss it in the context of a shared letters project that was ongoing through the year. It never failed that I would cry every time I read this story -- the whole concept of being real as it is explained in the book just moves me so much. When you are shabby and well-worn and your whiskers are rubbed off and your fur is patchy, Such a beautiful beautiful story. During my second year of teaching, I started taking 30 minutes or so on Fridays to read a children's story to my juniors, and then we'd discuss it in the context of a shared letters project that was ongoing through the year. It never failed that I would cry every time I read this story -- the whole concept of being real as it is explained in the book just moves me so much. When you are shabby and well-worn and your whiskers are rubbed off and your fur is patchy, that means you are loved and that is what real is -- what an amazing truth. We had wonderful talks about appearance and personality and being who you are with this book -- it's applicable to every age.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Shirley Revill

    My children and grandchildren loved this book and I must admit I loved it too. A wonderful classic children's story. Recommended.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Linda (Miss Greedybooks)

    The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath. "Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real." "Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit. "Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt." The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath. "Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real." "Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit. "Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt." Beautiful story.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jon(athan) Nakapalau

    One of the earliest books I can remember...special place on my "childhood shelf."

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Metcalf

    My reading this morning of The Velveteen Rabbit was a lovely stroke of serendipity. Having read a review for a WilliamFaulkner title I decided to check my library catalogue to see if it was available. It wasn't. Oddly not even one Faulkner but right there in the search results was The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams and illustrated by William Nicholson. I hadn't read it but most certainly had heard of it so figured why not? This charming little story is one I'll definitely bring out if ever My reading this morning of The Velveteen Rabbit was a lovely stroke of serendipity. Having read a review for a WilliamFaulkner title I decided to check my library catalogue to see if it was available. It wasn't. Oddly not even one Faulkner but right there in the search results was The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams and illustrated by William Nicholson. I hadn't read it but most certainly had heard of it so figured why not? This charming little story is one I'll definitely bring out if ever I'm fortunate enough to become a grandmother. When my daughter was young we read together for hours on end. Beautiful hours spent lost in storyland and I wish I'd known of this book then. The magic would have washed over us and I can picture so clearly the way her big brown eyes would have sparkled with the possibility of one of her cherished toys being brought to life. It's a very short story which tells of a soft toy in the shape of a rabbit. Gifted to a young boy for Christmas, left in the nursery with all his other toys, gradually progressed to cherished possession - a real rabbit in the eyes of the boy. After some time the toy was tossed away and replaced by a newer toy but with a little magic and good fortune the Velveteen Rabbit is brought to life. Ultimately I may or may not find the Faulkner but am delighted I found the Velveteen Rabbit.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Dustin

    Originally published in 1922 by the George H. Doran Company with heartwarming illustrations by Jean Chandler (new to this edition, circa 1986,) Margery Williams wrote a magical (albeit long, for Children’s Literature,) story about a tattered and weary stuffed rabbit, on the cusp of losing all hope of discovering how to be, and the true meaning of, Real. But I’m getting ahead of myself. One might think I’d read this before; that I’d, in fact, be well-versed in such an iconic and timeless tale. T Originally published in 1922 by the George H. Doran Company with heartwarming illustrations by Jean Chandler (new to this edition, circa 1986,) Margery Williams wrote a magical (albeit long, for Children’s Literature,) story about a tattered and weary stuffed rabbit, on the cusp of losing all hope of discovering how to be, and the true meaning of, Real. But I’m getting ahead of myself. One might think I’d read this before; that I’d, in fact, be well-versed in such an iconic and timeless tale. The truth is, if not for fully embracing the spirit of Advent this last December for our six year old son, I might not have ever read it. My wife and I didn’t simply read it aloud. It was an experience shared with Carter, and one we hope to never forget, and to cherish “for always.” The mechanical toys were very superior and looked down upon everyone else; they were full of modern ideas and pretended they were real. The model boat, who lived through two seasons and lost most of his paint, caught the tone from them and never missed an opportunity of referring to his rigging in technical terms.. But as strong and magical as Willians’ tale was, it was much more than your typical Children’s book. Her prose was very clear–the antithesis of ambiguity, in ways which render the cliche “crystal clear,” somehow understated and underwhelming. The plot was exquisitely simple, and spoke of what it meant, even in the Roaring Twenties, to be human; to be remembered; to be loved; to matter. It started off strong, and only intensified as its forty-five pages drew increasingly closer. The seriousness of it impressed me, mostly because such themes are rarely seen in Children’s books. In complete earnestness, I can’t praise The Velveteen Rabbit enough. Normally I have at least some constructive criticism to give, but aside from longing to see more of the Skin Horse, I wanted nothing more…at all. Williams’ greatest strength inarguably was her ability to make her inanimate objects into actual characters, and wholly believable ones, in fashions exemplifying anthropomorphism. Initially reminiscent of Walt Disney’s Pinocchio (1940; based on an Italian novel published in 1883,) and Watership Down by Richard Adams (1972,) it became clear that in some ways, Margery Williams was far ahead of them. Clever, masterful, and ultimately unforgettable. I hope to share this delightful experience with Carter every year.

  30. 4 out of 5

    booklady

    I've lost track of all the times I've read this wonderful sweet story. But my favorite was when I copied and sent the following portion of it to my very REAL mom in a birthday card/letter to let her know how much she is loved:“What is REAL?” asked the Velveteen Rabbit one day... “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?” “Real isn't how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It's a thing that happens to you. When [someone] loves you for a long, long time, not just to I've lost track of all the times I've read this wonderful sweet story. But my favorite was when I copied and sent the following portion of it to my very REAL mom in a birthday card/letter to let her know how much she is loved:“What is REAL?” asked the Velveteen Rabbit one day... “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?” “Real isn't how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It's a thing that happens to you. When [someone] loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.” “Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit. “Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don't mind being hurt.” “Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?” “It doesn't happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.” “Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand... once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always.”Deep sigh.

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