Wonderful Books from the Past: The Velveteen Rabbit

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Margery William’s The Velveteen Rabbit is a timeless tale of the magic in toys. This classic tale begins with the Velveteen Rabbit appearing in the Boy’s stocking for Christmas. The Velveteen Rabbit is soon forgotten by the Boy until one night when his old china dog that he usually sleeps with can’t be found. The Velveteen Rabbit captures the heart of the Boy and become his inseparable companion. The Velveteen Rabbit had learned from the Skin Horse that toys can become Real through the love of a child. The Boy loves the child so much that the velveteen rabbit becomes what he thinks is Real. One day, the Boy catches the Scarlett Fever and must remain in bed for many days. The Velveteen Rabbit, being the faithful companion that he is, stays with the Boy through the duration of his sickness. Once the Boy is well, his doctor orders the Rabbit to be disposed of because he contained Scarlett Fever germs. The Velveteen Rabbit feels extremely lonely after he had been tossed aside with the other old toys. He begins to cry Real tears. The first tear that falls on the ground causes a magical flower to begin to grow. From this flower comes the most beautiful fairy the velveteen rabbit had ever seen. This fairy uses her magic to transform the Velveteen Rabbit into a Real rabbit that has hind legs and can jump with the other Real rabbits. The Velveteen Rabbit is overjoyed by this transformation. A couple months later, the Velveteen Rabbit is in the woods with a fellow rabbit and sees the Boy. The Boy is reminded of his beloved toy from before his sickness. The Boy will never know that this rabbit is actually his old friend.

Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint what exactly makes you fall in love with a book. Was it the beautiful illustrations? Was it the plot twist? Was it the character development? Was it the vivid imagery? I think, for The Velveteen Rabbit, it was theme of a child’s love for their favorite toy. Growing up, it seems like everyone has that one favorite toy they can’t leave home without. For me, my “velveteen rabbit” was my big stuffed animal Eyeore. Because of his size, eyeore could not travel with me many places. But, Eyeore and I had tons of fun around the house. I especially loved his velcro tail that I could detach and reattach.

The Velveteen Rabbit pulls at the heartstrings of all the readers it encounters. The Boy’s love for the Rabbit can also be seen in both young and old children–even those children who have reached the ripe age of 99. The magic of the toy room draws children into a whole new world full of talking toys and beautiful fairies. All readers can experience the joy of this beautifully written, classic work of children’s literature.

Because of its ability to reach a wide variety of readers, The Velveteen Rabbit has often been used in many classrooms as a teaching tool. Some teachers like to use this book as a tool for assessing reading comprehension. Others utilize the book as a starting point for writing activities. For more ideas, click here.

The Velveteen Rabbit was one of my favorite books as a child and still is today. I highly encourage everyone to invest in this classic tale so that younger generations will have the opportunity to experience the magic and love of the Velveteen Rabbit.

Happy Reading!

Heather
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