Margery Williams, the author of "The Velveteen Rabbit."
If you've never read this book about becoming real, you can read it online here.
My friend Vicki gave me a copy for my 40th birthday, and though my children were long past the age to be read to, I have read "The Velveteen Rabbit" to myself numerous times in the years since.
The book is sub-titled "Or How Toys Become Real", but it's much more than that. It's about love and its redemptive and transformative powers.
This is a story to read to a young child but it should be re-read over and over again as that child grows. The message is one especially important for teenagers who often struggle with self-esteem and what love means. And the story continues to resonate through young adulthood, into and past middle age. When I read that the rabbit had begun to lose his shape, that the lining of his ears had turned grey, but that to the little boy he was always beautiful, I'm reminded that beauty is more than what's reflected in the mirror. But I'm also reminded that sadness and loss are part of what makes us real. There is no true joy without sorrow.
When the Boy becomes ill with Scarlet Fever, the Rabbit stays near, though "It was a long weary time. . ." He was faithful. And the Rabbit had hope, looking "forward to the time when the Boy should be well again, . .." Such is real love. "Love is patient, love is kind. . ." 1 Corinthians 13:4.
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with you, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."