The Velveteen Rabbit

The Velveteen Rabbit


Written and illustrated by Komako Sakai
Translated by Yuki Kaneko
Based on the story by Margery Williams

A Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book of 2013

In her retelling of The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams, Komako Sakai's text flows beautifully with her evocative, color-saturated illustrations. Written in gentle tones, the text resonates with the tender relationship between the boy and his toy rabbit. And, as always, Sakai's sensitive illustrations succeed in an absolute sense in evoking the interior world of the child, with all of its playful energy and poignant solitude.

Her depictions of child and rabbit are memorable and may well become part of our collective, cultural memory of Williams' original book. Sakai's text is simpler than Williams', allowing her illustrations to convey much that is left unsaid, making for a fine integrity between word and image.

ISBN: 978-1-59270-128-5
8.9" (W) x 10.9" (H) • 40 pages • HCJ

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A Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book of 2013
Recommended in The Wall Street Journal's 2012 Gift Guide

"Here Ms. Sakai again displays her gift for depicting inner truths in the outer appearance of very small children. In the cupping of small hands, the confiding turn of a face, Ms. Sakai captures without a bit of saccharine the transportation of a boy into the realm of his own imagination." —Meghan Cox Gurdon, The Wall Street Journal

"The Velveteen Rabbit
 has been republished and retold many times over since Margery's original in 1922, but this is a particularly beautiful copy from one of the most popular author-illustrators in Japan. […] This book does not diminish the original at all, and only serves to introduce the tale to a whole new generation." —For Immediate Release Reviews

Sakai’s illustrations, richly textured paintings done in acrylic and oil pencil, retain the original’s Edwardian setting, while cushioning the story’s sharp edges with blankets of smudgy, luminous color." —Publishers Weekly

Timeless as the book may be, it is also one of extraordinary timeliness today—a story that speaks to our deepest anxieties about the effects of technological progress on our humanity." —Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

"Flying in the face of the notion that all children’s books should be light or cute. […] Komako lays out her stories with honesty and an emotional resonance, never patronizing to child readers and triumphantly tapping into all shades of their inner lives." —Julie Danielson, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast

Recasting Williams’ original text into shorter sentences and simpler language (through a translator), Sakai subtly sweetens the overall tone: The Nursery Fairy’s ‘I take care of all the playthings that the children have loved. When they are old and worn out and the children don't need them any more, then I come and take them away with me and turn them into Real,’ is here, ‘I take care of the toys that the children have truly loved. When their time comes and they have to say goodbye, I come for them and make them Real.’ The muted, grainy illustrations add further touches of sentiment, not only in the antique, period flavor of the boy’s clothing and toys, but in the rabbit itself, which has a plump and very soft-looking body, large green eyes (still green after its transformation at the end) and a blue neck ribbon that gradually loses color to underscore the wear and tear of constant use." —Kirkus Reviews

"As a storyteller and a toy maker who works in schools and libraries every week, [The Velveteen Rabbit] is a beautiful reminder about the power of children's imagination and their capacity to love" —Richard O'Neill, Manchester, UK


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