(Re-running this for obvious reasons!)
‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ is the most terrifying novel ever written, if, like me, you have a strong tendency to anthropomorphize physical objects. (I don’t acknowledge that one can anthropomorphize other mammalian species, since, uh, if you still don’t think you can hurt a dog’s feelings, you can’t come to my party or read my lazy reviews.)
I, however, was certainly the type of child who felt obliged to play with all of my toys, lest one feel left out. And the idea of throwing one away? Anathema!
Anyway, this perfectly nice toy rabbit thinks he’s a real rabbit (I KNOW, RIGHT?), and is loved by this boy, and starts to get kind of fugly and stained and stuff, but the boy doesn’t care. And then the boy gets sick, and the toy rabbit comforts him, and then the boy gets better, and the doctor says they have to BURN the germ-riddled toy rabbit, so they give the Demon Child a new toy rabbit, and he’s all ‘whatever, one toy rabbit is as good as another’ and they put our heroic little bunny on a pile of other toys and sheets to be burned.
So, yeah, this is happening, everyone. And the toy bunny is lying there, hoping it won’t hurt, and he cries a little tear, because he’ll miss Ungrateful HellSpawn, and a magical fairy comes and says that he’s been such a good toy that she’s going to make him into a real bunny, because that’s what love does. So he’s a bunny.
And then there’s a little bit at the end about how the Awful, Unfeeling Child sees him in the woods one day, and is all ‘oh. That looks like my bunny, which I could not give two shits about, because I got a newer bunny.’
We’re not supposed to be mad at the kid, like we’re not supposed to be mad at the kid in ‘The Giving Tree,’ but they are both selfish assholes.
The illustrations are beautiful.