Velveteen Rabbit

ISBN-10: 0385077254

ISBN-13: 9780385077255

Edition: 1991

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Description: 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. Like the Skin Horse, Margery Williams understood how toys--and people--become real through the wisdom and experience of love. This reissue of a favorite classic, with the original story and illustrations as they first appeared in 1922, will work its magic for all who read it.

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Book details

List price: $13.95
Copyright year: 1991
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 1/6/1958
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 48
Size: 7.51" wide x 9.67" long x 0.38" tall
Weight: 1.034
Language: English

Author Margery Williams was born in London, England on July 22, 1881. She moved to the United States when she was nine-years-old and alternated between living in the United States and England for the rest of her life. She is best known for her thirty children's books, but she also wrote novels for adults and young adults. Her most popular works include The Velveteen Rabbit, Poor Cecco: The Wonderful Story of a Wonderful Wooden Dog Who Was the Jolliest Toy in the House Until He Went Out to Explore the World, and The Little Wooden Doll. Her young adult book, Winterbound, was a runner-up for the 1937 Newbery Medal and was retroactively given the Newbery Honor award when it was established in 1971. She died on September 4, 1944 at the age of 63.

William Nicholson is the author of the acclaimed Seeker and Jango, books one and two of the Noble Warriors trilogy; the Wind on Fire trilogy; as well as the screenplays for Gladiator and Shadowlands, both of which were nominated for Academy Awards. He lives with his wife and their three children in Sussex, England. www.williamnicholson.co.uk

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 was spotted 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."
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