The Velveteen Rabbit

Julie Marks

Los Angeles, United States

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Artist's Description

The imagery under the veneer of this tree bark reminded me of one of my favorite childrens classics that is a story about the magic and wisdom of timeless books for all ages. Look at the graphic and see if you can find a bunny in the center of the piece. He is the Velveteen Rabbit, his story by the same name written by Margery Williams. This magical book has an important and heartwarming message for all us. The simple wisdom of this classic story emphasizes that being real; a most important life virtue can lead us to genuine love. For those who may have forgotten how genuine authenticity can create a warmer, more enriched and loving life, this classic childrens book will show you the way. As we grow up, we ask ourselves where can I find honesty, warmth and real friendship? What are real values? How can I discover real love and avoid the pretentious trappings of the false self? And most importantly, how can we discover our true selves? The curious rabbit wants to know the difference between external beauty and inner beauty. He finds out that a real life reflects our struggles and challenges that make us more loveable and truly ourselves. This is a story about a rabbit that lives in a boys nursery that learns about inner beauty, the kind one feels after ceasing to chase false ideals and become the Real person he or she was meant to be. The plot of Margery Williams endearing book revolves around the Velveteen Rabbits quest to become Real and resolve the doubts about his identity and worth. The promise of this sweet story is fulfilled when the Rabbit finally realizes that he has achieved his goal and becomes a real rabbit made of flesh and blood. He jumps and whirls about because he has been freed from his feelings of inadequacy and failure. This is another classic book that indispensable to a child or adults library. It is a guide to becoming real with ourselves, our hopes, our desires and the people we love. Through the simple wisdom of The Velveteen Rabbit, we learn the importance of stripping off the trappings of the object culture and remembering what makes us unique and worthily of love. In this endurable fable, real is a process that is sometimes intimidating and painful, but in the end, far more rewarding than a rabbit in a magical nursery could have ever imagined. The mechanical toys felt they were superior and pretended they were real. The plush velvet animals rejected the rabbit whose fur was not pure velvet, but velveteen. The rabbit grows older and shabbier over the years. The boy loved and cuddled him holding him within his arms without noticing that his button nose had fallen off and one eye had dropped off. It was not important to the boy that no one cared to repair the worn Rabbit as long as he could sleep with him every night in loving comfort. In fact, the more worn and familiar he became, the more the boy loved him. Even Timothy, the jointed lion put on airs and pretended he did not know the boys beloved Rabbit. His parents did not understand and frightened their son when they said that his most precious possession was not as pretty as his more expensive and newer toys and maybe it was time for him to discard him. What a horrible and frighening thought!! Only one character in the nursery, the very wise Skin Horse is Real through out the entire story and doesnt pretend to be something he is not. He is the one whose example piques the rabbits curiosity. When he turns to him with questions, the Skin horse is kind, sensitive and in the end, always truthful. If he werent the Rabbit would never learn all he needs to know in order to become Real himself. The honesty of the skin horse begins with the way he thinks about himself. He is flawed and a bit scarred, but he is not sensitive about his appearance and affirms that life has left him tattered. The rabbit learns that new isnt necessarily better and that it is love that make us real. The same basic truth that is Real applies to all of us and this truth is not better seen then we look at the artwork children produce or listen to their imaginative stories and the freedom of full abandon in their playful relationships with their friends and toys. Sensitive readers like children notice that the little rabbit begins to show signs of being Real from the moment that he learns that such a thing is possible. It was born in him. The pressure of living among toys who value only mechanistic perfection and their external beauty analogous to the way people prize technology over human values and follow momentary trends had made him insecure. It would take some time for him to feel comfortable being himself. He tells the old skin horse how he feels inside. Just like children who have not been purposely inhibited or silenced, they show us an irrepressible and remarkable spirit filled with magic and wonder. The hope is that as we grow up we never lose this part of ourselves, out most lovable qualities. Looks fade, but with years of hugs and comfort the little boy receives from his loving rabbit are the things that are REAL. The skin horse tells the rabbit that the boy does not notice his worn fur, his missing button nose or if his eyes are sewn tightly. Even the holes in his thinning velveteen are a result of love, the many snuggles the boy experienced with his rabbit while he feel safely and securely to sleep. The newer toys seemed cold and unfamiliar and decorated his nursery, but never touched his heart. Before the boy discovered the velveteen rabbit, he lived in the toy cupboard or on the nursery floor and no one thought much about him unless the expensive toys wanted to snub him. In a time when the pursuit of instant gratification and the stress of daily life can swamp us and cause us like the skin horse says to break easily or have sharp edges, this wonderful book offers a safe and steady course towards peace of mind, self- acceptance and true love. It is easy to lose our way. Its easy to forget the simple joys of life or the wonder of nature. All of us need the help of the old skin horse and a sawdust-filled bunny, the Velveteen Principles of life to set us back on the course to authenticity and remind us that Real isnt how you are made, but its something inside that you feel. As the Skin Horse tells the rabbit, once you are real, things will never be the same." Even in a complex world, simple truths can change everything.

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book childrens classic rabbit velveteen

Artwork Comments

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  • lacewren
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