The Velveteen Rabbit
|The Velveteen Rabbit|
Front cover of the 1922 Heinemann edition
|Publisher||George H. Doran Company|
|Media type||Print (hardback and paperback)|
|Text||The Velveteen Rabbit at Wikisource|
The Velveteen Rabbit (or How Toys Become Real) is a children's novel written by Margery Williams and illustrated by William Nicholson. It chronicles the story of a stuffed rabbit and his quest to become real through the love of his owner. The book was first published in 1922 and has been republished many times since.
The Velveteen Rabbit was Williams' first children's book. It has been awarded the IRA/CBC Children's Choice award. Based on a 2007 online poll, the National Education Association named the book one of its "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children."
A stuffed rabbit sewn from velveteen is given as a Christmas present to a small boy, but is neglected for toys of higher quality or function, which shun him in response. The rabbit is informed of magically becoming Real by the wisest and oldest toy in the nursery as a result of extreme adoration and love from children, and he is awed by this concept; however, his chances of achieving this wish are slight.
One night, after the boy has misplaced his cherished china dog, he is pacified through the presence of the rabbit, who attracts more attention from his owner from then onward as a result, to the extent of his promotion to the position of the child's favorite toy. However, when the toy rabbit's owner contracts scarlet fever, he is prescribed a trip to the seashore and is pacified upon receiving a stuffed rabbit of higher quality as a replacement for the Velveteen Rabbit, which must be burned alongside all of the other playthings due to potential bacteria. Before the rabbit can meet a painful demise, he is greeted by the Nursery Fairy, who transforms him into a living rabbit to spare him from an agonizing fate, as he'd acquired greater affection from the boy than all of the other toys and surpassed all qualifications required. The rabbit accompanies several others in rejoicing, gleeful upon having received his dream.
The following adaptations have been made of The Velveteen Rabbit. 1973 LSB Productions made a 16mm award winning film version with a runtime of 19 minutes.
- The 1976 Rankin/Bass television special, The First Easter Rabbit adapts the plot of the book as first of part of its story of how a toy bunny is recruited as the Easter Bunny.
- In 1984 it was part of the "Enchanted Musical Playhouse" series, where Marie Osmond played the part of the Velveteen Rabbit. Songs were composed by the Sherman Brothers.
- The Velveteen Rabbit was adapted into a video recording and soundtrack in 1985 by Rabbit Ears Productions with Random House Video; narrated by Meryl Streep, with music by George Winston. It received a Parents' Choice Award for Multimedia and was a Grammy award nominee.
- In 1985, two different animated adaptations were made at almost the same time:
- In 2003 it was also adapted into a clay-animated film by Xyzoo Animation.
- In 2007 a live action short film adaptation was released by Horse Fly Studios. It was nominated for two Young Artist Awards.
- Feature Films for Families, Family1 Films and Believe Pictures released their adaptation in 2009. It is distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment, Thomas Nelson and Vision Films. The film adaptation was illegally telemarketed to over 500,000 telephone subscribers in the United States. Verizon successfully sued Feature Films For Families for the practice.
- "Margery Williams - The Velveteen Rabbit at Embracing the Child". Embracingthechild.org. Retrieved 2009-09-13.
- Williams, Margery. "The Velveteen Rabbit, By Margery Williams , Illustrated by William Nicholson: HarperCollins Children's Books". Harpercollinschildrens.com. Retrieved 2009-09-13.
- National Education Association (2007). "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children". Retrieved August 22, 2012.
- Barrett, Rick (2009-02-27). "Telemarketer sued for cell-phone calls". JSOnline. Retrieved 2009-09-13.