Like most little kids, I slept with a stuffed animal every single night - and, I am not ashamed to admit that I still have that stuffed animal today; and he has dibs on whatever side of the bed he wants. That's right - "he" is my very own "Velveteen Rabbit" -- which happens to be my all-time, favorite children's book.
There are many renditions of The Velveteen Rabbit (originally published in 1922), but the one I hold closest to my heart is by Margery Williams, with illustrations by Donna Green. This book - my OH my - gorgeous. That's the only way to describe it - simply gorgeous to the eye and to the soul.
For those unfamiliar - and I am sure there are very few of you - The Velveteen Rabbit is a story of a stuffed rabbit and his desire to become real through the love of his owner. Well, I am the real life, personification of this story! I have loved my stuffed rabbit (whom I named Fluffy Giovanni at a very young age - yes, I am not lying); and have loved the literal stuffing out of him to this day. His eyes have ''cataracts", he's been stitched, sewn and had many "bunny surgeries" - by way of many needles - throughout the years. He is fully treasured and spectacular.
The Velveteen Rabbit taught me how to take care of something sacred at a young age - the love I had for my "Fluffy" lead to my first glimmers as a caretaker (aka future nanny Florence Ann ). Donna Green's illustrations, as well, were outstandingly influential. The drawings were pure magic, soft, lovely, whimsical and chalk-full of imagination. When I was deciding what the illustrations of N&M were to look like, I went back to what I knew best; back to the story I loved most in my life. Donna Green's style was behind many of the final scenes you see in N&M ... not surprising since she made her way into my heart long ago.
Your favorite children's book may just live in your memory now; but you never know when that memory will sneak up on you and be a part of your childhood dreams coming true.