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Friday, February 25, 2011

"The Velveteen Rabbit"

by Margery Williams, YR, 1922, 44p, rating=4

"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.  "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 love you, then you become Real.  It takes a long time.  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." (book's blurb)
I read one of those Christmas toddler abridged board book version of this book a long time ago and found it to be a darling story.  I wanted to see the original version so I checked this out from my local library.  Sweet story.  Oddly enough, I think I like the abridged version better (perhaps due to the illustrations ...brought out the visual mood).  Anyway, I read this book to my kids last night and as soon as I finished reading, my eight year old stated that it was a good book and it was like the Pixar movie, "Toy Story".  Very astute ... he just gave my review! 

There is something to companion toys.  Although I didn't have one when I was young, I can appreciate the attachment kids have of them.  At play, they do seem to be alive in the atmosphere of the kids' imagination.  A tangible companion of their own. 

There must be something innate in us (maybe I should speak for myself) that give us a sense that toys are kinda alive.  For example, when my kids step on or play rough with their stuff animals/dolls, I find myself wincing and end up scolding them to not treat their toys in such a matter.  Perhaps it's more of teaching them proper behavior of respect.  But, why did I wince?  Did I think that the toy really got hurt or did my kids' behavior hurt me?  I can't help but answer yes to both.  ;)


  1. I'm going to go get this and read it again. Thanks for the reminder. Love this book!

  2. I LOVE this book, it's my early childhood favourite! I had a special one made with my own name inserted into the owners and on the cover- so sweet :)


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