One of my favorite books as a child was The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. After reading it, I hugged my favorite stuffed animal even harder so that it too would become Real.
When threads on it started to come loose, I grew excited because I knew I was getting it even closer to the day the nursery magic Fairy would turn it into Real.
The Velveteen Rabbit is a timeless story about the power of love and the bond that forms between a child and his favorite toy. Now that I’m an adult, I’ve realized that it’s also a story about loving someone for who they are and not how they look and about being real to yourself and to others.
I bought a copy of The Velveteen Rabbit for each my sister’s three daughters, J’menii, Jeah and Jozlyn, so I could share this amazing story with them. On the inside page of each of their books, I wrote:
Always be real to yourself and to others because God made you one-of-a-kind.
I also recorded myself reading the story out loud and rang a bell when it came time to turn a page, just like the read-along story books you can buy at the store.
I wasn’t expecting it, but I had a lot of fun reading in my (deeper) narrator voice and coming up with different voices for each of the characters in the story.
At the end, I recorded myself saying, ” This book was narrated by your Aunt Diana who loves you very very much!”
So even though I live halfway across the country, I can still read my nieces a bedtime story any time they hit the Play button.
If started when a child is young, this gift idea can become a memorable gift giving tradition, and it creates a wonderful way to pass on your favorite books and stories to the next generation!
(You can record your voice using your computer or your phone. The iTalk app is free, easy to use and does a great job.)
When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real. – Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit