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New Victory Blog

The New Victory Blog is a place to learn more about New York's theater for families and the shows we produce. Find out what we do and what we're passionate about—exploring the arts as a family.
January 26, 2016

Margery Williams' Timeless Tale

"You must be very kind to him and teach him all he needs to know in Rabbit-land, for he is going to live with you for ever and ever!" — The Nursery Magic Fairy
 
 
Written by Margery Williams in 1922 and first illustrated by William Nicholson, The Velveteen Rabbit is a beloved and poignant classic. The National Education Association includes it on their teacher-compiled list of top books for kids, and our friends at Brightly dubbed the titular bunny one of the most lovable characters in all of kids' lit. (Though how could they not? The whole story turns on his lovability!)

The Velveteen Rabbit has been adapted many times in its 94 years. The latest interpretation, of course, in a season full of artful adaptations, is Unicorn Theatre's theatrical one, on the New Victory stage through the end of January. 
 

Before you come to see the performance, consider reading (or re-reading) the book as a family. Familiarity with the story can't hurt, as it does explore themes of loss and illness; and having it fresh in your minds will help you appreciate Unicorn's adaptation all the more—it really is wonderful! To help you get in a Velveteen mood, we've embedded the original illustrated version below, compiled by Free Kids Books. You can also download a PDF, visit your local NYPL branch or order a hard copy of the book—there are many editions.
 
If you know the story well, or if your family falls in love with it after seeing it onstage at the New Vic, then there are many more adaptations out there. Take a look at some video previews below:
 

Award-winning short film by Leonard Berman (1973), available on DVD.


Grammy-nominated storybook narrated by Meryl Streep (1985), available for download and streaming.

Enchanted Musical Playhouse version starring Marie Osmond (1984), available on VHS


Animated version narrated by Christopher Plummer (1985), available on DVD.
 
Do you have a favorite edition or adaptation of The Velveteen Rabbit? Let us know in the comments below, or with #TheVelveteenRabbit on Twitter and Instagram.
Posted by Zack Ramadan
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