The Velveteen Rabbit
What It Is
This is a newer edition of the classic tale about a young boy who receives a cuddly toy rabbit in his Christmas stocking. The boy takes the rabbit everywhere, including outside to play, where the toy meets real live rabbits. The “real” rabbits tease the toy because he can’t run and play. The rabbit feels sad because he believes that he is “real.” One day, the boy comes down with Scarlet Fever and anything that touched his bed, including the rabbit, must be burned to get rid of the dangerous virus. The rabbit gets tossed into a sack with other items and put in the garden shed. That night, cold and alone, the rabbit sheds a tear that drops to the ground and sprouts a beautiful fairy. The fairy tells the rabbit that he will become a real live rabbit because he was so loved by the boy. She brings him to the woods where he joins all the other real live rabbits. Months pass and one day, the boy sees a rabbit while playing in the woods that reminds him of his once loved stuffed velveteen rabbit.
Why It’s Fun
The thought that our old toys can come back as real living beings is such a sweet childhood fantasy. This story magically captures that fantasy and, though written in 1922, is very relevant today. (Visions of Disney’s Toy Story “trilogy” keep popping into mind.) Though not the tale’s first illustrator, Michael Hague’s illustrations give this edition an heirloom quality, whether you own it in paperback or hardcover. Mr. Hague has illustrated many of classic children’s fantasies including The Wizard of Oz, The Hobbit and The Wind in the Willows, among many others.
Who’s Going To Love It
This really is a story to enjoy for all ages and is a great selection for children ready to bridge to short novels. Young children who like more illustrations and fewer words on a page may not be ready for its length. Classic literature should be a part of everyone’s reading repertoire and this edition of The Velveteen Rabbit is a great choice for any home library.
Short novel length
10 out of 10
THE VELVETEEN RABBIT
By: Margery Williams; Illustrated by Michael Hague
Published by: Square Fish Books (2008)
Approximate retail price: $7.99 (paperback)
Publisher’s recommended ages: 3 - 7