Length: 29 min
Reader: Marlo Dianne
The story: The Velveteen Rabbit tells the story of a toy rabbit who comes to live in the nursery of a young boy. Though the wind-up toys mock the rabbit's simplicity, an older toy tells him that he will become real if he is loved so much that the boy believes he is real. Eventually, the rabbit becomes the boy's favorite toy, lending comfort when the boy comes down with scarlet fever. After the boy recovers, the doctor orders all infected items to be burned, including the stuffed bunny. Will the rabbit be burned on the rubbish heap, or will he become real and go live with the wild rabbits?
The story is enjoyable enough for children on its surface level, but adults will see a deeper parable. The details of the velveteen rabbit wearing out, moving away, and changing irrevocably mirror the bittersweet joy and pain of growing up. Like the bunny, we can't turn things back to the simpler life of childhood, but being real is often worth the difficulties.
The reader: Marlo Dianne does a very good job of interpreting this classic story. The sound quality is quite nice. Ms. Dianne reads with a mournful tone that matches the notes of melancholy in the story. When she voices the characters, the tone brightens and her voice reflects the characters' emotions. Her steady rhythm of speech seems perfect for using this as a bedtime story.