The Velveteen Rabbit
- Egmont Uk LTD
- Publication Date:
- 05 February 2004
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A boy receives a Velveteen Rabbit for Christmas. The Velveteen Rabbit is snubbed by other more expensive or mechanical toys, the latter of which fancy themselves real. One day while talking with the Skin Horse, the Rabbit learns that a toy becomes real if its owner really and truly loves it. When the boy's china dog is misplaced, the Velveteen Rabbit is given to the boy as a quick replacement by the maid. The Velveteen Rabbit soon takes his place as the boy's constant companion. The Rabbit becomes shabbier, but the boy loves him no matter what. In the woods near the boy's home, the Velveteen Rabbit meets actual rabbits, and learns about the differences between himself and the real rabbits when the real rabbits prove he is not real by his inability to hop and jump. The Velveteen Rabbit's companionship with the boy lasts until the boy falls ill with scarlet fever. The boy becomes too ill to play for a very long time; upon his recovery, he is sent to the seaside on doctor's orders. The doctor orders all the toys the boy has played with, including the Rabbit, be burned in order to disinfect the nursery. The boy is given a new plush rabbit and is so excited about the trip to the seaside that he forgets his old Velveteen Rabbit. While awaiting the bonfire, in which the Velveteen Rabbit will be burned, the Rabbit cries a real tear. This tear brings forth the Nursery Magic Fairy. She tells the Rabbit that he was only real to the boy, and then brings him to the woods and kisses him, making him real to everybody. He soon discovers that he is a real rabbit at last and runs to join the other rabbits in the wild. The following spring, the boy sees the Rabbit hopping in the wild and thinks he looks like his old Velveteen Rabbit, but he never knows that it actually was.
I wonder why anyone thinks this masterpiece is a children's book?
Summary: The Velveteen Rabbit is the story of a young boy and his favorite rabbit. The boy got the rabbit for Christmas one year and tossed the rabbit aside when the boy got other Christmas presents. Time passed and the little boys Nana was searching for another toy to comfort the boy. She came upon the Velveteen rabbit. She gave him to the little boy and soon the boy loved the rabbit. He took the rabbit everywhere. Before the boy played with the rabbit, the rabbit befriended a horse who told him about becoming real. The little boy would have to really love the rabbit for him to become real. This finally happened and the Velveteen rabbit loved it. The boy soon got ill and the doctor said to burn everything the boy had been around. The rabbit was tossed out. The rabbit was so sad he shed a single tear and appeared a fairy. The fairy made the rabbit real as can be. The rabbit lived among the other rabbits and watched the boy from afar. Personal response: I am so in love with this book! It almost made me cry! It is so touching how the rabbit wanted to be loved so much. The little boy played with him so much that he began to look run down, the rabbit didn't care though and that is true love. Classroom extension:1. I would have the students bring in their favorite stuffed animal, small toy, barbie, etc.. and have them show off their wonderful "real" animals! 2. The students could draw the Velveteen rabbit with themselves and use their imaginations to do what ever they wanted with the bunny. They could swing, play on the playground, eat, sleep, etc.. with the bunny in their picture.
I love children's books that can be read hundreds of times without my tiring of them--the ones whose pages become worn but that one can never really bear to part with. They're incredibly entertaining for children but also contain deeper, subtle adult messages. Those are the sorts of books I enjoyed as a child, that I've also come to love as adult as my understanding of them deepened. They offer more than familiarity and comfort. A good children's book speaks to some aspect of how we understand the world or ourselves in it. For me, <i>The Velveteen Rabbit</i> is one of those books. It's a story of a toy bunny who becomes real. It's his love of a little boy and that little boy's love of him that's so complete and magical that through their love he becomes real. Love remains even when the object of it changes or is removed; it is not experienced without pain and an acknowledgment of an otherness. It's a sweet wonderful story that I will never stop loving.
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