It is quite a poignant story involving discrimination, class, luck, love, friendship and almost the ultimate disaster.
Velveteen Rabbit is a Christmas gift for the Boy. He is played with for many hours before being discarded for other new toys. This remains the case for some time.
The Rabbit is considered to be lowly and “cheap” by the mechanical toys and some of the other nursery inmates. However, the Skin Horse becomes his friend and explains that toys can become REAL. That nursery magic makes them so, and that once they are real they remain so.
We follow Rabbit’s piece of luck that brings him back to the Boy and on to his constant companionship in games outdoors and snuggled in bed. It is the fact that he is so loved, and that the Boy considers him to be real that leads to the ultimate disaster.
The Boy becomes ill with scarlet fever and is bedridden with his bunny for comfort and company. When he finally recovers and is about to be sent off to convalesce, the doctor orders that all toys that were in the bed are to be burned in order to rid themselves of the scarlet fever ‘germs’. While waiting for that to happen the rabbit finds himself in company with the nursery magic Fairy.
Will the Velveteen Rabbit get a reprieve? If so, how? That’s not for me to tell you, as it would spoil the story.
The book is definitely of it’s age, published in 1922 in an era of nurseries and nannies.
That does not take away from the fact that it is a lovely story, but not a soft one. There is plenty of scope for children to experience a range of emotions while they read this book. There will be plenty to talk about with your children as you read this book, and probably quite a few things to explain along the way.
I enjoyed it very much and would give it four stars.
Today in history: 1913 – Albert Camus was born. (French writer & Nobel Laureate)
Integrity has no need of rules.
– Albert Camus