The Velveteen Rabbit: Or, How Toys Become Real

The Velveteen Rabbit: Or, How Toys Become Real

4.5 171
by Marjorie Williams
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Margery Williams' famous story tells of a young boy and his treasured favorite toy, a splendid "fat and bunchy" rabbit, whose ears are lined with pink sateen. He carries it everywhere, talks to it, pretends with it, sleeps with it each night. The love he steadfastly bestows on his toy helps him through a serious illness and afterwards saves his beloved bunny from a

Overview

Margery Williams' famous story tells of a young boy and his treasured favorite toy, a splendid "fat and bunchy" rabbit, whose ears are lined with pink sateen. He carries it everywhere, talks to it, pretends with it, sleeps with it each night. The love he steadfastly bestows on his toy helps him through a serious illness and afterwards saves his beloved bunny from a terrible fate.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The beloved tale of the stuffed bunny who becomes real is complemented by delicate pastel drawings. Ages 3-7. (Feb.)
Publishers Weekly
Lou Fancher sensitively adapts Margery Williams's The Velveteen Rabbit, illus. by Steve Johnson and Fancher, while maintaining the magic of the original. The inviting oil paintings ingeniously portray the boy's toy rabbit with button eyes, shaped like those of the real rabbits living in the nearby woods; as the stuffed rabbit is transformed by love, the artists seem to inject animation into its eyes, depicting its metamorphosis into a living, breathing being.
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
The story has been abridged, too much so, to fit this die cut board version. It isn't the same story and lacks the strong emotional pull of the original. Undoubtedly, it will raise a few questions and some concerns such as why did the boy's toys have to be thrown away? However, it is still one that kids who have a beloved stuffed animal can relate to. The soft pastel illustrations suit the short text.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4 Were it not for its jumpy design, this version would rank near the top of the half-dozen versions of The Velveteen Rabbit now available. The discomforting design may be accounted for by its translation from an electronic to a print medium (this version is based on a TV special narrated by Meryl Streep). Some illustrations are full page, others vignettes that bleed into the text; still other vignettes have hard edges; there are several isolated figures stuck on the white page; and here and there ovals, rather than rectangles, frame the images. No visual logic accounts for these design variations. Although there are several compelling illustrations, there are too many other scenes that just exist as if cut from larger cloth. The drawings themselves are well-crafted in a fuzzy range of colors that accentuates the warmer hues. Even the night is subfused with golden yellows. The effect is psychologically comforting, supporting the sentimental message of hope with its suggestion of death, resurrection and eternal life. Figures are rendered solidly and with anatomical conviction. Occasionally a pencil outline intrudes and breaks the dreamy magic's spell. Yet there can be no denying the magnetism of the individual characters. Kenneth Marantz, Art Education Department, Ohio State University, Columbus
Kirkus Reviews
In his note to the reader, Fancher (The Range Eternal, p. 1222, etc.) writes, "I’ve shortened the text to allow more room for the artwork," as an explanation for this abbreviated version of the beloved classic. Shortened indeed: Williams’s poetic passage introducing the Skin Horse has been reduced to: "The Skin Horse was old and wise, and he knew all about being Real." The rest is pared down to match, leaving a tale that does still—faintly—echo the original’s lyricism, but is less likely to lose the attention of, as Fancher puts it, "a wiggly two-year-old" being forced to listen to it. The art is, as promised, all full-paged and space-filling: quiet compositions in which the Velveteen Rabbit, the Boy, and other figures are large, soft-surfaced forms, viewed close-up, and from a child’s-eye level to enhance the feeling of intimacy. The tale’s more philosophical aspects will still elude most of the nursery school set, but sharing this summary may make some listeners more receptive to the Real story, when they’re old enough to appreciate it. On the other hand, perhaps they’ll think they’ve read it already. Why not just wait? (Picture book. 3-5)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780671882488
Publisher:
Aladdin
Publication date:
02/01/1994
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Read an Excerpt

From the Forward by Toni Raiten-D'Antonio, author of The Velveteen Principles


The Velveteen Rabbit, which first appeared in 1922, is full of the magic and playfulness that fill a child's world and are almost impossible to find in the land of adults.


But as many millions of readers have discovered, this book offers wisdom for readers of all ages. The story confronts some of the most essential questions we ever ask: Who am I? Do I have worth? What is life all about?


As they search for happiness, each one of Williams's characters seems to embody very basic human traits. The Rabbit is that part of us who is young at heart, and hopeful, and insecure, and afraid. The not-so-nice toys in the nursery represent excessive pride, superiority and insensitive competitiveness. Nana, the governess, is cold and too busy to notice much about others. And the Skin Horse stands for the kindness, wisdom and quiet integrity we all hope to acquire some day.


Yes, it is a story for children. But it is also meant for any person with an open mind and a receptive heart. As you read this wonderful book, the genuine humanity in its characters will become obvious. You will begin to consider how much you are like the little Rabbit, and how much you admire the Skin Horse. Most important, you will begin to understand that by holding true to your highest values, and honoring your own life's experience, you too can strive to be Real, just like the Horse and the Rabbit.


From the Velveteen Rabbit


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 wasspotted 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.


There were other things in the stocking, nuts and oranges and a toy engine, and chocolate almonds and a clockwork mouse, but the Rabbit was quite the best of all. For at least two hours the Boy loved him, and then Aunts and Uncles came to dinner, and there was a great rustling of tissue paper and unwrapping of parcels, and in the excitement of looking at all the new presents the Velveteen Rabbit was forgotten.


For a long time he lived in the toy cupboard or on the nursery floor, and no one thought very much about him. He was naturally shy, and being only made of velveteen, some of the more expensive toys quite snubbed him. The mechanical toys were very superior, and looked down upon every one else; they were full of modern ideas, and pretended they were real. The model boat, who had 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. The Rabbit could not claim to be a model of anything, for he didn't know that real rabbits existed; he thought they were all stuffed with sawdust like himself, and he understood that sawdust was quite out-of-date and should never be mentioned in modern circles. Even Timothy, the jointed wooden lion, who was made by the disabled soldiers, and should have had broader views, put on airs and pretended he was connected with Government. Between them all the poor little Rabbit was made to feel himself very insignificant and commonplace, and the only person who was kind to him at all was the Skin Horse.


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, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.


"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "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 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 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."

Meet the Author

Michael Green has had a 30-year career as an artist and illustrator. His books include Unicornis, Zen and The Art of the Macintosh, and The I Ching Records.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

The Velveteen Rabbit (Enhanced Edition) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 171 reviews.
Rayginc More than 1 year ago
This was my favorite book when I was a child. To this day, it still gets me choked up. Very touching story of the love a child has for his toy and what that love has done for the rabbit. Beautiful illustrations to keep a child interested in the pages and the story. Sniff, Sniff.
KYmomma More than 1 year ago
I recently purchased this book for my 4 and 5 year olds. I thought that it was beautifully illustrated. Of course the story is a classic, and at this great price it is a perfect addition to your children's library.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my standard baby shower gift along with a B&N gift care. The story is timeless and the illustrations are lovely.
D_M_White More than 1 year ago
A classic story for young and old whose message we never outgrow.
janrich More than 1 year ago
Got this book for my little neice. This is a great story and the illustrations in this book are wonderful! I think this book is a good one for every age.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
lovely app, nicely colored and implemented)
Briona Nichols More than 1 year ago
Read it at the library
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a classic book and a must for all children. I bought it for my granddaughter but had to wait until she was able to read the book. She enjoyed it and it is a book you read and always remember.
nico619 More than 1 year ago
Great rendition and illustration of The Velveteen Rabbit. Quite pleasant to read to children. They understand it and really correlate it with the illustrations in the book. The price was right. It's a great read. If you can find it buy it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
yeah, that was a nice surprise to have this book here!
PetersenwithanE More than 1 year ago
This is the same artwork that I remember reading when I was a kid, so I really wanted to get this version for my baby on the way. Great classic book. It gets me all teary-eyed :)
mom-of-2nj More than 1 year ago
I really like this book. It has nice pictures. The story is interesting. Although I bought it along with a stuffed rabbit, I'm holding on to it until my kids are bigger. They are two and a half. I think the rating for 4 and over is appropriate. There are two many words for younger readers and perhaps the story itself is better suited to an older child. I would not want my kids to think I'm going to take away their toys if they get sick. I think you could explain it better to a child over 4. I am looking forward to giving this to my kids when they are older. By then, they will have more imagination and be happy for the rabbit who becomes real.
farmmom More than 1 year ago
The intrinsic value of attachment on an emotional level-hence real love- is a great reminder for anyone of any age. Total value in this book.
slaydon More than 1 year ago
this book should be on the shelf of every child. We all remember the story of a stuffed toy that is loved so much it becomes real. This magical story is def one i would recommend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
adore the rabbit, the graphics is just the best.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story is one that I have read for years to my students at school during my career,to my children at home during their youth, and now to my grandchildren at their homes during Easter. It is timeless and beyond a 'classic'. I sent this to my youngest grandchild for her Easter present this year. She will start school next fall and just loved the story and the stuffed Velveteen bunny that accompanied it. Thank you for making this available for purchase online, swift mailing, and arrival in good condition. I will definitely utilize your services again.
techgeekintraining More than 1 year ago
one of my favorite books growing up. bought it as a present. awesome price
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wish you could give it no stars. This one is terrible. It is mising a lot ofcpages and has duplicates of others instead. :-(
kitty13JF More than 1 year ago
I just recieved this today and was amazed at the Vintage aapeal of the book! The illistrations arent too done up and very good, easy on the eye. There almost like a pen and ink 1800s look! The paper looks like parchment paper if it isnt i dont know? But the book blew my mind! I ordered it because of the front cover being so antiqued looking and i was right it is an antique! Though it is new! I would expect to find this in an attic of a luxurious house! And the story is the classic velveteen rabbit! Deffinately a GREAT BUY!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great children's story...I'm actually using a passage from it for my wedding reading so that's why I bought the book(again) after all these years. Would recommend it for anyone!
cider12 More than 1 year ago
This is simply one of the best stories ever, for young and old alike. There are so many levels to this story and it is one that I never tire of reading - either to my grandchildren or simply to myself.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An original and heartwearming story of a stuffed rabbit who longs to be real, this book is perfect for young children and adults alike. The rabbit is a Christmas present that is put away in the nursery, and, after years of being neglected, is picked up to substitute for a missing toy lost by the boy who lives in the house. The boy learns to love the velveteen toy, and they spend every day together. When the boy becomes ill with scarlet fever, the rabbit is right by his side. However; because the rabbit is most likely covered with germs, the doctor orders him to be burned. When all seems lost, the rabbit remembers the special nursery magic that transforms toys into real animals. Suddenly, a beautiful flower fairy appears, kisses the rabbit, and turns the velveteen rabbit into a real wild bunny. Recommended for young children (perfect for a bedtime story) and anyone older who loves touching tales such as this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Got this one to read to my grandkids, but it still makes me teary eyed to read myself. Definitely a classic every bookshelf should have!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thank you Open Riad Media for issuing the closest replica of the book I had as a child. This book still makes me cry. I have written sermins about it. And now, I can share it with my grandchildren
alc1967 More than 1 year ago
This book, of all children's books, is one of the very best. It is touching and teaches unconditional love. I can remember my own very special stuffed animal, Puppy, and, in fact, I still have him. The love and connection a child has for his very first stuffed toy is something that remains throughout their lives and gives them a sense of comfort and safety. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has a child, or knows a child, or who was a child, and that pretty much includes everyone.