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The Velveteen Rabbit

Last updated Friday, August 7, 2009

Author: Margery Williams
Illustrator: William Nicholson
Date of Publication: 1958
ISBN: 0385077254
Grade Level: 2nd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Aug. 2009

Synopsis: A stuffed toy rabbit (with real thread whiskers) comes to life in Margery Williams's timeless tale of the transformative power of love. Given as a Christmas gift to a young boy, the Velveteen Rabbit lives in the nursery with all of the other toys, waiting for the day when the Boy (as he is called) will choose him as a playmate. In time, the shy Rabbit befriends the tattered Skin Horse, the wisest resident of the nursery, who reveals the goal of all nursery toys: to be made "real" through the love of a human. "'Real isn't how you are made,' said the Skin Horse. 'It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.'" This sentimental classic--perfect for any child who's ever thought that maybe, just maybe, his or her toys have feelings--has been charming children since its first publication in 1922. -

Note to readers:
•  There are a lot of vocabulary words. Feel free to pick a manageable list and revisit them as they come up again and again throughout the book. Make sure you are able to answer vocab questions as they come up and feel free to ask your GLC if you do not understand some of the British words. Vocab:
•  velveteen
•  sateen
•  splendid
•  sprig
•  snubbed
•  rigging
•  insignificant
•  commonplace
•  boast
•  swagger
•  shabby
•  swooping
•  scarcely
•  burrows
•  mantelpiece
•  fuss
•  twitching
•  fluttered
•  dreadful
•  flushed
•  bonfire
•  threadbare
•  bygone
•  fronds
•  dingy

Discussion topics: To be posted soon ...

Craft ideas:
•  Make rabbit ears.
•  Make construction paper rabbit with cotton ball tail.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!