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The Velveteen Rabbit


Margery Williams, illus William Nicholson
Farshore Books
Age 5-7 years

When a little boy is given a velveteen rabbit for his birthday it becomes a treasured possession. Told from the perspective of the rabbit we share his joy at being loved and played with by the boy, his adventures and misadventures and yearning to become real.

Now over 100 years old, this is a gentle tale sprinkled with magic celebrating the love between young children and their toys. There are many editions of this classic picture book – the anniversary edition features the original artwork by William Nicholson.

Watch an animation of the story narrated by Meryl Streep

Watch a trailer for the feature film


Share the story

Read aloud
When you read this story aloud to your child encourage them to have their own special toys nearby to cuddle.

Retell the story
When your child is familiar with the story they could tell it to you, in their own words using the illustrations to help them.

Talk about the story
◼︎Which is your favourite illustration?
◼︎How does the velveteen rabbit feel at different parts of the story? For example when the skin horse tells him how to become real, when he plays with the boy, meets the real rabbits or is thrown out when the boy is ill.
◼︎This story was written a long time ago – talk together about the way it is written and anything which seems different to more modern books.

Things to make and do

Draw a picture
Draw a picture of the velveteen rabbit – talk about what you know about him from the story and help your child decide whether to draw him well loved and scruffy or brand new.  

Play the story
Choose one of the ‘scenes’ from the story and act it out together using toys to be the characters eg the skin horse and the rabbit (other toys can stand in for rabbits or horses if you don’t have toy rabbits or horses).

Write a diary
Give your child a folded paper book and suggest they write the little boy’s diary for one day in the story, for example when he is given the rabbit, when he realises it has been taken away or when he spots a real rabbit which looks just like his favourite toy.

Find out more

Find out more about the background to the story: