20 Bad Books To Give To Young Kids

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(Image via Top That Publishing)

2. The Velveteen Rabbit

The Velveteen Rabbit is an old-fashioned toy given to a young boy in 1922 children’s book by Margery Williams. The boy quickly discards the Velveteen Rabbit, given that he has more modern toys which he deems to be more interesting. The rabbit, who now feels lonely and rejected – oh, yes, of course the toys are all sentient and talk to one another – confides in the oldest toy, the Skin Horse. The Skin Horse tells the Velveteen Rabbit that toys can magically become real through the love of children.

Somehow, the Velveteen Rabbit gets back into the boy’s good graces and becomes a favorite toy. He goes out on adventures with the boy, and eventually becomes worn and shabby, though happy. One day, however, the boy becomes very ill with scarlet fever. A doctor orders that all the boy’s toys and books must be burned to prevent the spread of the infectious illness.

The Velveteen Rabbit is bundled into a sack and left overnight in the garden, where he contemplates his own mortality. He manages to cry, shedding a single real tear. The tear causes a fairy to appear. She introduces herself as the Nursery Magic Fairy, and turns the Velveteen Rabbit into a real, living, breathing rabbit.

If a tale full of conscious toys and a character called the “Skin Horse” doesn’t scare you already, check out this retelling by Mallory Ortberg.