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book cover Limecello’s review of The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams (illustrated by William Nicholson)
Children’s story re-published by Harper Collins on 9 Mar 99 (originally pub’d 1922)

You won’t be surprised to hear that more conversation is what spurred my reading of this book. I jumped into a conversation about Young Adult fiction, but then decided to browse the classics that were online. Imagine my surprise when I saw that I could read an electronic copy of The Velveteen Rabbit. I actually don’t think I’ve ever read the book until now, though I remember watching film/tv adaptations in elementary school. It was nice to take this nostalgic little turn.

I really enjoyed The Velveteen Rabbit. The  version I had was a bit sad, because there were no images, and that’s just wrong for a picture book. Regardless, the story had a bit more substance than I thought or remembered. There’s a really cute part with the “real rabbits” – which ties into the end, when the velveteen rabbit becomes really and truly real. And I never knew that he didn’t have back legs. As well as the fairy. I miss stories that had fairies, and where it all made sense.

I admit to mixing up a few of those childhood books- what with Corduroy the Bear and The Velveteen Rabbit and all the other stories/shows/films with moving, talking stuffed animals or inanimate objects. But I still have a soft spot for all of them. I’d re-read the Corduroy or Paddington (who I hear had some sticky immigration issues, recently)  books. I also liked how, even though it was so short, there were some themes in The Velveteen Rabbit. There was substance to it. I miss stories, and writing like that. I haven’t checked or read them in a while, but I noticed in a number of books, that special timeless quality was missing.

I’m very happy I read this book, and am now even more determined to read more Children’s/Young Adult classics. I also might buy this book, because at $3.99 it’s a bargain, and really, you need the timeless illustrations for a holistic read.

LimecelloGrade: B

The Rabbit in the stocking isn’t as expensive as the other toys: he’s covered in velveteen. On Christmas Day, the Boy enjoys his new toy but then quickly forgets and neglects him. Shunned and unsure, the Velveteen Rabbit questions his worth. Should he even becalled a real toy? An answer comes from his friend, the Skin Horse: “Real isn’t how you are made. . . .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.” The Velveteen Rabbit’s journey through love and loneliness to become who he was really meant to be is a story that inspires us all on our own journey to Real.
The Velveteen Rabbit is a timeless tale of friendship, love, acceptance and honesty. When the world seems uncertain, Margery Williams’s classic story reminds all of us what really matters.
Read an excerpt.