beatrix potter, benjamin bunny, book review, carlo collodi, childrens fiction, l. frank baum, Margery Williams, pinocchio, The Tale of Benjamin Bunny, toy story, velveteen rabbit, Wonderful Wizard of Oz
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ is a sweet little tale about a toy bunny who arrives at a nursery one day as the new plaything. At first he is an object of curiosity, but is quickly shunned when the other more expensive toys discover he is made of more inferior material. This greatly saddens the poor rabbit, yet one day one of the toys opens his eyes to a new concept; one where toys can actually become ‘real’. The toy rabbit learns that to become a real bunny, one must be loved by one’s owner; even if that means being loved to the point that a toy starts falling apart.
I started reading Margery Williams’ short story after I finished ‘Pinocchio’ by Collodi and whether by chance or coincidence, found it to be similar to that of the wooden boy. Both tales revolve around concepts of imitation versus reality, yet Williams’ tale has a ‘Toy Story‘ like twist, in that it is constructed in a world where toys come to life when you are not looking. This never fails to delight me, which means I have either not grown up… yet.
Williams has in her possession an ease of story-telling that looks and reads quite effortlessly but in reality is rather rare. The toy rabbit goes through a few trials and proves himself worthy of becoming a ‘real’ rabbit through his selfless acts as a loyal companion. In the end he discovers that it is not the material you are made of that matters, but rather what’s on the inside that counts. Like in ‘Pinocchio’, the Velveteen Rabbit is eventually granted his wish in becoming a real rabbit through a lovely fairy godmother and all ends happily ever after.
This is a perfect bedtime story for little ones to read aloud, with plenty of moral tales and a hugely satisfying, syrupy-sweet ending. I read the e-book version, which is again widely available. I accessed my copy through Kobo books. For books similar to ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ I recommend Beatrix Potter’s ‘Benjamin Bunny’ series and also L. Baum’s ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’ (also a rather extensive series in its own right!’
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- Margery Williams Shows Us What’s Real in THE VELVETEEN RABBIT (bookbrio.com)
- Photo Flash: First Look at DR2’s THE VELVETEEN RABBIT (broadwayworld.com)
- Hurt (offthemarkandroaming.wordpress.com)