The Velveteen Rabbit

Velveteen 175

Today is a perfect day for reading — overcast and a little chilly — and there is nothing better than snuggling up on the couch or a bed with your little one and reading a good book together. One of my favorites is “The Velveteen Rabbit,” the story of how a well-loved toy becomes real, first in his boy’s eyes, and then through the magic of a fairy. Maybe this story was a little of the inspiration for Toy Story!

But what’s even better is that today, and through Nov. 23, you can read this book with your children and then watch the story come to life. Tonight is opening night for the UNCG Theatre and Theatre for Young People’s production of “The Velveteen Rabbit.” It’s a magical experience for children to get to see live theater, and the Taylor Theatre is especially suited for young crowds. It’s 475 seats were designed to give everyone an intimate view of the performance, and most plays run just under an hour.

Even if you can’t make the performance, you can enjoy reading the book with your children. It’s one that brings tears to my eyes every time I read it, and I’m sure I’ve read it more than a dozen times, at least. It’s available as a free download from the Gutenburg Project, or you can check it out at your nearest library.

Remember, kids of all ages love to be read to. I started reading with mine when they were infants, am still reading almost every night with my fourth grader, and plan to continue as long as she’ll read with me. I’ve heard plenty of great stories of parents and teens reading books together, like the Harry Potter series and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. When you share a book, it’s both an educational and an emotional experience that draws you closer together and gives you the opportunity for many great discussions.