The Velveteen Rabbit

THE VELVETEEN RABBIT was written by a woman named Margery Williams. She was born July 22, 1881 in London, England. Her father was a lawyer and a man who loved to read. As a result Margery learned to love the world of books. She learned to read before she was six years old, though she didn't start school till she was ten.

In 1902 she wrote her first book. Throughout her life, she wrote three books for grown-ups, twenty-five books for children and one play. She wrote her most popular story, THE VELVETEEN RABBIT (or HOW TOYS DO BECOME REAL), in 1922.

In 1904 Margery Williams married an Italian man named Francesco Bianco. He loved books so much that he bought and operated a very fine book store. They had two children, a boy and a girl, Cecco and Pamela. Later Pamela drew pictures for two of Margery's books.

Margery Williams lived most of her grown-up life in New York City. She always thought of it as her favourite city. It was here that she died September 4, 1944.

Some Questions About The Author

What is another title for The Velveteen Rabbit?
a) The Little Bunny Who Couldn't
b) How Toys Do Become Real
c) How Toys Learn to Feel

What did Margery Williams do for a living?
a) she was a writer
b) she drew pictures for books
c) she was a lawyer

How old was she when she started school?
a) ten
b) three
c) six

How many books for grown-ups did she write?
a) twenty-five
b) one
c) three

How old was she when she died?
a) sixty-four
b) sixty
c) sixty-three

Her husband came from what country?
a) France
b) England
c) Italy

How many children did she have?
a) three
b) one
c) two

Keeping a Rabbit

Before you arrange to keep a rabbit you should:

1. Talk it over with your parents if you want to keep the pet at home.
2. Discuss it with a teacher if you and other children would like to have a rabbit at school.
3. Decide whether there is a suitable sheltered place out-of-doors or a shed in which to stand a hutch.
4. Find a child or an adult who is willing to look after the rabbit when you go on holiday or when you can no longer keep it at school.

History of Rabbits

Our pet rabbits are descendants of wild rabbits whose original home many hundreds of years ago was Spain. Voyagers took these wild rabbits to other countries around the Mediterranean Sea and to more distant parts of Europe. Wild rabbits were probably brought to Britain about the eleventh century and spread throughout the countryside, living in burrows under the ground and eating grass and herbage. Medieval monks seem to have been the first to domesticate rabbits here for food, gradually breeding a larger and more docile animal for this purpose. Later breeds began to show some changes in colour from the greyish-brown of the wild rabbit; black, white ahd piebald appeared, and other variations as well. The tame rabbit now has little fear of man, who provides him with regular food and a home.