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The Velveteen Rabbit


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About the Author

Margery Williams (1881-1944) was the author of several books for adults and children, but The Velveteen Rabbit was her first and most-beloved children's book. She received the Newbery Honor for her young adult novel, Winterbound. Williams was born in London and spent most of her life in London and the United States. Michael Hague has illustrated some of the best-loved works of children's literature, including The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, and The Teddy Bear's Picnic. He lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with his wife, Kathleen.


PreS-Gr 2‘A pleasant, small volume that joins the growing list of publishers' reworkings of this classic story. Krupinski uses pretty tones of the primary colors in full-page paintings facing pages of text, each headed by a decorative capital forming an elegant link to the pictured story elements. She takes small liberties in both story and pictures in adapting Margery Williams's well-known tale. Here the rabbit's "spotted brown and white" velveteen coat is a soft beige patterned with pale flowers and brighter turquoise spots. Though his color deepens a bit with age, he often looks more calico than velveteen, and his coat is particularly jarring as he encounters the rabbits in the natural world. The abridgment of the text removes some of the early bulky description of the playroom dynamics among the toys. For the most part the story moves well and retains the original language. One crucial omission, however, weakens the set-up of the basic premise. No longer do readers hear of the modern-minded mechanical toys who "pretended they were real." When the Velveteen Rabbit asks the Skin Horse, "What is real?" the idea seems oddly unrelated to anything. Occasionally overly sweet (the fairy is greeting-card precious), the book is appealing in its modest square layout. Libraries wanting varied interpretations of classic titles will be interested.‘Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston

Lou Fancher sensitively adapts Margery Williams's The Velveteen Rabbit, illus. by Steve Johnson and Fancher, while maintaining the magic of the original. The inviting oil paintings ingeniously portray the boy's toy rabbit with button eyes, shaped like those of the real rabbits living in the nearby woods; as the stuffed rabbit is transformed by love, the artists seem to inject animation into its eyes, depicting its metamorphosis into a living, breathing being.

"Hague's paintings of the Boy who loves his velveteen rabbit are gentle, romantic, and faithful." --Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "In an assessment of artistic merit combined with . . . child appeal, Michael Hague's book comes up the winner." --Booklist

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