The Velveteen Rabbit

By Margery Williams, Charles Santore (illustrator),

Book cover of The Velveteen Rabbit

Book description

The beloved story of the Velveteen Rabbit, the toy rabbit made real by the love of a boy, is now available in a beautiful Little Apple Classic book.

Originally published in 1922, the classic story of a toy rabbit who loves a boy so much he eventually becomes real, has…

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Why read it?

5 authors picked The Velveteen Rabbit as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I love children’s books that provide lessons for both kids and adults.

The salient friendship is not between the stuffed rabbit and the boy but between the stuffed rabbit and another toy—the Skin Horse. The life lessons for adults are revealed mainly through the discussions between the Velveteen Rabbit and the Skin Horse. About love, loss, aging, and what true love truly means. Pay close attention to the part where the Skin Horse, old and wise, explains what it means to be “real.” 

I recognized myself as one of those people who “breaks easily” or has “to be carefully kept.”…

Everything in my world has an inner life, especially soft toys; I project my imaginings of their own experience of the world around onto them. When I found this book, I realized I was not alone in this. Not only does this story appeal to my childlike imagination, which never left me, but also as an adult it makes me realize my aging, my battle scars, my wrinkles are what make me who I am and that I can be loved for being me. This is a book with a story that I will never forget. Heartbreakingly beautiful.

This heart-warming story, which should be on every children’s reading list, illustrates how by being loved, one becomes “real,” or whole. I enjoyed how the author demonstrates to children the theme that being loved helps us feel alive. The straightforward story also shows the desire in all of us to have a community that invites inclusion. Also, the watercolor illustrations help bring the story to life.

From Andrew's list on friendship and diversity.

I first read this book as a young child, and thought it was about a magic toy. I re-read it a few years ago (for work, as a storyteller I can call a lot of ridiculous activities “work!"), and realised it’s not about the toy, it’s about the boy, and about love, and about the power of imagination to make anything real. I love this book much more now I can see the whole story from an adult’s point of view. Don’t wait for an excuse to read it to a child, read it for yourself, but be prepared to…

If you have a beating heart, this book will destroy you…but also teach you a lesson that you carry for the rest of your life. (Special shout-out to Booey, my teddy bear, aged 54, sitting next to me at this very moment.) A little boy loves his velveteen rabbit in the singular way only kids can love. When the boy comes down with scarlet fever and nearly dies, the doctor tells his parents that his room needs to be disinfected, and all his toys…burned. For the love of God!

The poor rabbit contemplates his fate and misses his boy, weeping…

From Kristan's list on for a cleansing sob fest.

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