The Velveteen Rabbit
Or How Toys Become Real
by Margery Williams with illustrations by William Nicholson/ published 1922 by Doubleday
Of late, I've decided it might be time to begin introducing longer books with less pictures to my son to see if he can go through several pages of imageless text without losing interest. His surrogate grandmother brought him a copy of Babe, but that seemed a little too thick for me. I remembered the perfect book, and I dug deep in his bookshelf to find my childhood copy. Even now, reading this tale still breaks my heart.
"Hurrah!" thought the little Rabbit. "Tomorrow we shall go to the seaside!" For the Boy had often talked of the seaside, and he wanted very much to see the big waves coming in, and the tiny crabs, and the sand castles.
Just then Nana caught sight of him."How about his old Bunny?" she asked.
"That?" said the doctor. "Why it's a mass of scarlet fever germs! Burn it at once."
I know that in the end the little rabbit becomes a "real boy", but still, losing the person who loved him most is heartbreaking none-the-less. When I was wee, I would cry and cry over this story. Apparently, the author's father died when she was still a child which makes the emotion all the more real. Great book!