"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, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.
The Velveteen Rabit would have to be my all time favourite children's book. I love this excerpt from the book ....it is such a lovely, lovely piece of writing. I especially love the last paragraph where the Skin Horse talks about 'being Real'. If we are real, then we are loved for who we are.
This is another really cute little story that I brought for my neice Madison when she was born. Mem Fox is a wonderful children's writer. Mem Fox is the author of the children's book Possum Magic, which is also very magical and such a lovely story about a possum.