Friday, July 07, 2006

Remembering The Velveteen Rabbit

As I savored every page of the children's books in Borders while searching for the perfect new baby gift, I remembered all those bedtime stories I read to my children. Often the page corners were worn and my audience could easily have told the story, which was read over and over and over again.

There were Bernstein Bears and Care Bears and Spot books. There was The Little Engine that Could that always ending up climbing all those steep hills. There were oh-so-many Dr. Seuss Books. There were those wonderful Judy Blume books. I think I loved that reading time before bed as much as my children did. It was a good chance for me to leave behind the cares of the day and immerse myself in my favorite kind of story – one that has a happy ending.

I finally settled on Goodnight Moon, The Runaway Bunny, and the Velveteen Rabbit, complete with matching stuffed rabbit that looked just like the one in the book. I always loved that story of how toys become real.

The books I was buying on this occasion were definitely for a happy ending baby. O'Malley was born through IVF after years of unsuccessful attempts. There was never a more longed for child. She is a petite, but perfect, little girl who flashes a very contagious smile. I greeted her with the Velveteen Rabbit and got to hold her as her Mom unwrapped the books. Her Mom is a kindergarten teacher, so she is well versed in children's books. I can just see her reading these and so many other books to O'Malley as she grows up.

We decided that I could be O'Malley's surrogate grandmother since her real grandmothers don't live in the area. I hope they will take me up on my babysitting offer some time soon.

Books and babies – I love them all!

Do you have a favorite story from when you were a child?


Blogger Kathryn Is So Over said...

I loved The Velveteen Rabbit so much.

Recently I re-purchased Good Neighbors by Massie... and a while back I bought every Lonely Doll book available on Amazon.

There are many more I could name, too. My mom read me so many books, then I got to do it all over again in my years as a babysitter and nanny. Can't wait to read to my own children some day... I hope!

11:19 AM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

The Velveteen Rabbit is a fav, although not from my childhood as I discovered it as an adult and shared it with my Gr. 2 and 3 classes over the years. I'd read it aloud, we'd do some activities and amazing discussion, see the video with Meryl Streep narrating, (of course, she's the best!)and then, my favourite thing, we'd have a day to bring in your own well-loved stuffed animal to put on our desks, share why it's so special and write a story or description! It was always the perfect lesson! I'd tell one of my own but since I no longer have it, I couldn't bring it.

My dad did used to read to us, Thornton Burgess animal tales...I'm dating know..Reddy the Fox, Jimmy Coon, Danny Meadow Mouse,Chatterer the Red Squirrel..anyone know those?!
Were from England.

Since being a teacher, I've added many favourites...Moses The Black Kitten by James Harriot, Charlotte's Web many..I love reading aloud to kids!!!

1:27 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

I just remembered! I DID bring one in! I brought the first puppet I ever had, given to me by a childhood friend for my 6 year-old birthday! It is a soft rabbit made of grey, plushy, satiny, velvet-like with a pink nose and glass eyes and a little ball of a tale that has been sewn back on several times!!! I now have a collection of puppets but this one is my fav!!

1:32 PM  
Blogger Old Lady said...

Winne the Pooh-My father would read it to us.

4:03 PM  
Blogger RennyBA said...

My favotite is "Charlie and chockolate factory" of Roald Dahl (from Norway you know:-)
Have a great end to your week Barbara! Hope you'll have the same lovely weather as you can see we have on my last post!

5:03 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kathryn -- I never read Lonely Doll books, but would like to check them out. I'll bet you were a great nanny!

MOI -- I adore all of James Herriott's stories, but I've not read Thornton Burgess. Charlotte's Web is a wonderful classic. There is a vast amount of children's literature.

Old Lady -- Winnie the Pooh is definitely right up there. I loved all the characters in that book.

Renny -- At one time my son decided to read every Roald Dahl book ever written. He even wrote a letter to Dahl, who unfortunately died before he had a chance to respond.

7:07 AM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

Goodnight Moon was my favorite! Also loved Harold and the Purple Crayon - it has alwasy been easy for me to relate to child insomniacs. I never slept growing up. This is so sweet, Barbara.

9:21 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I'm a huge fan of Dr. Suess - especially The Lorax. Though, I also loved The Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. The Icky, Picky Sister. Katy and the Big Snow. The Little House. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. So many books, so little time...

I've had a lot of fun with my nieces and nephews. I buy them all (local) books whenever I travel. They think I'm nuts but the books turn out to be their favorites. I also worked at Barnes and Noble for a while, in the kids section, just to stock their libraries.

There's nothing like time spent reading to a child.

10:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maurice Sendak..."Where the Wild Things Are" and "In the Night Kitchen" were both favs of my boys. "Chicken Soup With Rice" and "Pierre"(I don't care) were ones I especially liked. I like his illustrations...especially his dog. FL

7:38 PM  

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