Retro reads: The Velveteen Rabbit and * Edward Tulane

Retro reads: The Velveteen Rabbit and * Edward Tulane

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The classic story of the Velveteen Rabbit and the more recent story by Edward Tulane show the nature of true love.

The Velveteen Rabbit or How Toys Real are by Margery Williams. Originally published in 1922 (republished in several editions)

* *The wonderful journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline. Candlewick, 2006, 228 pages.

Reading level: middle classes aged 8-10 years

Recommended for: every age

NOTE: Both books are available for a limited time in a Kindle edition for 0.99 each. See Amazon link below.

"I loved you with everlasting love." Jeremiah 31: 3

One thing that toy stories (including toy story) teach us about love is that it is often painful. Two stories about toy rabbits come to a happy conclusion when they lead the reader through a valley of sadness that, when we look back, could not be removed.

The Velveteen Rabbit, almost 100 years old, tells the story of a stuffed bunny who enters the life of its owner as a garter: “On Christmas morning he sat with a holly branch between his paws on the boy's stocking, the effect was enchanting. “The bunny enjoys the boy's full attention for a few hours before other toys step on the stage and is then demoted to a shelf in the nursery. But one night when the boy can't find his usual bed companion, the nanny looks for a replacement. "Here, take your old hand! He'll do to sleep with you! "Love follows. During the following summer, Boy and Bunny are constant companions, while the velvety fur rubs off and the ears become dirty and the tufted body loses its shape. None of this matters, because the boy's love made him real. Then The disease comes into the house and the stuffed rabbit is considered a "mass of scarlet germs." He is on the way to the campfire until "child magic" intervenes.

The Velveteen Rabbit borders on sentimentality, but the author's life experience gives it depth. At the age of seven, Margery Williams & # 39; dear father died and characterized her with an attitude to life which, together with his many joys, is considered to be essentially tragic. Although she is not a Christian (as far as I know), her theme of love that makes us real is a fitting picture of God's love that shapes us into what we should be.

The porcelain rabbit from Kate DiCamillo's The Miraculous Journey by Edward Tulane follows a similar theme, but a different arc of character. Edward Tulane – no ordinary "bunny" title for him! – makes a great figure. Presented to a girl named Abilene by her grandmother as a special gift, Edward comes with his own wardrobe, including hats and shoes and a gold watch. Abilene insists on keeping him close at all times, even at dinner, and involves him in every conversation. She adores him and Edward adores himself and looks endlessly at his reflection in the window. It's a nice life until the family goes on a sea voyage on the Queen Mary and Edward falls victim to a pair of mischievous boys who accidentally throw him overboard. Face down in the dirt on the ocean floor, he has enough time to think about how proud a fall is. But his "miraculous journey" has only just begun.

He will walk through many hands and experience feelings that have never touched him before: comfort, gratitude, happiness, fear, cynicism, sadness, hope. He will endure a kind of death and resurrection and will end up with a happy ending that, unlikely (or wonderful) as it may be, is far from unfounded. At the beginning of the story, Abilene's grandmother, who was responsible for Edward's existence, assesses his narcissistic character in a bedtime story about a beautiful, selfish princess who turns into a warthog. Abilene protests against the end. "How can a story end happily when there is no love?" her grandmother replies.

Good question. I can't imagine happy stories without love. "If I have not loved, I am nothing," Paul wrote to the contentious Christians in Corinth. Love is something we grow into when we become real. We cannot do that alone. It is something that cancels our self-absorption until we finally see face to face and know how we are known. "I loved you with everlasting love": the true secret of the ages that lasts forever.

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Also with Redeemed Reader:

  • For older readers, C. S. Lewis is Until we have faces examines similar issues.
  • We did a whole symposium about beauty and the beast! See the Introductory fee.
  • Speaking of love, how about romance? The entire crew of Redeemed Reader came together to “These love stories that we loved"And what we've learned since then.

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