Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Velveteen Daughter” as Want to Read:
The Velveteen Daughter
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Velveteen Daughter

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  863 ratings  ·  168 reviews
The Velveteen Daughter reveals for the first time the true story of two remarkable women: Margery Williams Bianco, the author of one of the most beloved children s books of all time The Velveteen Rabbit and her daughter Pamela, a world-renowned child prodigy artist whose fame at one time greatly eclipses her mother's. But celebrity at such an early age exacts a great toll. ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published July 11th 2017 by She Writes Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Velveteen Daughter, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Velveteen Daughter

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  863 ratings  ·  168 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Velveteen Daughter
Cindy Burnett
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

The Velveteen Daughter tells the tale of two remarkable women, Margery Williams Bianco and her daughter Pamela Bianco. Margery Williams Bianco is known for writing The Velveteen Rabbit, a children’s picture book familiar to many generations of children, and Pamela Bianco was a renowned child artist who subsequently struggles with severe depression and other debilitating psychiatric illnesses. By and large, it is not a happy story, at least not for Pamela, who battles demons and a lack o
The Velveteen Daughter is written in a style known as the historical bibliographical novel - a genre which can be extraordinarily wonderful to read when well done, or a bit “blah” if it misses its mark. For me, unfortunately, The Velveteen Daughter didn’t quite hit its mark.

An extraordinary amount of research was done to learn about the author of the beloved children’s book, The Velveteen Rabbit, Margery Williams Bianco, and her family. This novel centres on her daughter Pamela, an artistic pro
(4.5) The name Margery Williams Bianco might not seem familiar, but chances are you remember her classic children’s book The Velveteen Rabbit. This lovely debut novel is about Margery and her daughter, Pamela Bianco, a painter and child prodigy troubled by mental illness. The main thread of the novel is set on one day in 1944, and the first-person narration alternates with almost every chapter between Margery and Pamela, who through memory and imagination drift back through vivid scenes from the ...more
Connie G
"The Velveteen Daughter" is the story of two talented women, the writer Margery Williams Bianco and her artist daughter Pamela Bianco. Most of us probably remember the delightful children's tale about the velveteen rabbit written by Margery Williams. Daughter Pamela was a child prodigy in the art world. She had her first art exhibition when she was 13 years old. Gertrude Vanderbilt was so impressed with Pamela's work that she brought the family to New York City and acted as her patron. Her antiq ...more
Lolly K Dandeneau
Jan 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
“Just one look at her this morning and despair flew into my heart. She had the look I dread, her eyes over bright, shining with that queer mix of euphoria and terror. And she talked incessantly, a very bad sign.”

The Velveteen Rabbit was a beautifully tender children’s story, and after reading this gorgeous novel about the author Margery Williams and her gifted daughter Pamela the children’s tale has come to mean much more. Being real hurts terribly. Laurel Davis Huber has taken the true story o
Jan 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
The Velveteen Rabbit is a well known and well beloved children's book by Margery Williams Bianco. That Margery's daughter, Pamela, was a child prodigy in art has been forgotten, but a new book by Laurel Davis Huber will soon correct this lapse of collective memory.

Huber's novel is compelling and affecting, the story of a girl who yearns for love. As in her mother's book, she seeks the love that will make her 'real'.

Margery and Pamela both speak in the novel, with chapters skipping back and forth
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Laurel Davis Huber has written a stunning debut novel. Her writing skims across the page. Her writing style--unique and enchanting--is simply delicious. Written in the voices of both Margery and Pamela, mother and daughter of the famed "Biancos," Huber captures the distinct voices of both. I ached for both of these characters. As the family dynamics developed, I could see and actually feel the pain of each. This kind of visceral reaction to any story is solely because of the writing. Huber excel ...more
Stephanie Burns
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: I love it when a book can teach me something new. Like many, I read The Velveteen Rabbit as a kid (full disclosure: the idea of burning all of the boy’s toys and books still leaves me with scars), but I never knew anything about the author, and I certainly knew nothing of her family. Thanks to Laurel Davis Huber’s debut novel, The Velveteen Daughter, this untold story has been brought to light in a read that is compelling, poignant, and downright fasc ...more
Cindy Roesel
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"The consequences for me ... well, I never considered them at all. Years later - the hospital ... the kind doctor, Henry - I saw the truth." The Velveteen Daughter, pg.25
At four years old, Pablo Picasso declared Pamela Bianco's drawings, "incredible ... such commanding for one so young." Picasso wouldn't believe the work had been done by a child, until he sat with Pamela and watched her draw.
Laurel Davis, Huber's novel, THE VELVETEEN DAUGHTER (SheWritesPress) tells the story of Pamela Bianco, ch
Cat Jenkins
Nov 01, 2017 rated it did not like it
I have rarely been so angry with an author/editor combo.

I was looking forward to reading a somewhat fictionalized tale of two really extraordinary people. "The Velveteen Rabbit" has long been my favorite children's book. Pamela Bianco's art has always touched a responsive chord in me. So, to see what could have been a marvelous work butchered by a style of writing that results in a hodge-podge, mish-mash, fetid swamp of non-linear leaping from character to character within non-consecutive, spor
Donna Baier-Stein
Exquisite writing, fascinating story, and an important look at creativity

The Velveteen Daughter is truly one of the most enjoyable books I’ve read. The writing is exquisite, the story fascinating on many levels. While most of us remember reading The Velveteen Rabbit, I had no knowledge of its author’s life or the equally, or even more, fascinating life of her daughter, Pamela Bianco. Picasso, Eugene O’Neill and his second wife Agnes, and the author of High Wind in Jamaica make appearances in thi
Davida Chazan
Laurel Davis Huber's debut historical fiction novel investigates Margery Williams Bianco, the author of the world-famous children's book, The Velveteen Rabbit, and her child prodigy artist daughter, Pamela Bianco. Huber gives us us a portrait of two lives, their relationship with each other and the problems they faced, both together and as individual talented women. Read more in my review here. ...more
Jessica Howard
Apr 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, fiction
Fascinating and sad and good. Full review to come for Shelf Awareness.
Barbara Ridley
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. A delightful novel, exquisitely well-written and well-researched, based on the true story of Margery, the author of the beloved children's book "The Velveteen Rabbit", and her daughter Pamela, who was a talented painter and a child prodigy. Told in short chapters alternating between the points of view of the mother and daughter, this novel pulls the reader into the story from the opening pages. The narrative unfolds in a series of flashbacks, a structure that the author skillfully use ...more
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve always loved the book “The Velveteen Rabbit.” First of all, I love rabbits. I tend to be sentimental too, so the book’s mix of pathos and rabbits is perfect for me.

“The Velveteen Daughter” is a work of historical fiction. It’s about The Velveteen Rabbit’s author, Margery Williams Bianco, but even more it’s about Margery’s daughter, Pamela.

Margery and her husband Francesco have a son and a daughter. Pamela, the daughter, is an artistic child prodigy. Her father acts as her agent, setting up
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars A compelling read, historical non-fiction with characters who made a strong connection with me. Huber's extensive research brings you insight into two extraordinary people: Margery Bianco, mother and author of a generationally renowned children's book, The Velveteen Rabbit and Pamela Bianco, her daughter, a renowned child prodigy who suffered from major depression with seeming psychotic breaks. Each gives us insight into their lives through very different lenses. The saddest aspect is ...more
Debbie Young
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I had the good fortune to be offered a review copy by the Historical Novel Society, and I've filed my review with them, but suffice to say that I loved this book, which lingers with me still a week after I finished reading it, and highly recommend it to anyone interested in the literature, art and society of the inter-war years, in the nature and handling of child genius, and in mother-daughter relationships - plus of course anyone who knows and loves the classic children's story, The Velveteen ...more
Judithe Little
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was drawn into this book and the intriguing, bohemian world of Margery and Pamela Bianco from the very first page. The characters are so well-drawn, the writing is lyrical, and the story—the fictionalized account of the author of The Velveteen Rabbit and her prodigy daughter--is captivating. I didn’t want it to end. With appearances from Picasso, Eugene O’Neill and Gertrude Vanderbilt, Laurel Davis Huber does a masterful job of weaving together the narratives of mother and daughter and their f ...more
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was fascinated to read this biographically driven novel that centers on Pamela Bianco, an artistic child prodigy who began drawing professional-level illustrations by the age of 8, as well as her mother, Margery Williams Bianco, the author of two dozen well-regarded children's books, including the classic "The Velveteen Rabbit."

As is often the case in life, a superabundance of creative talent is often counterbalanced by a lack of emotional stability, which was certainly the case with Pamela B
Feb 01, 2019 rated it liked it
I found this in the thrift store. I think it's fairly recent, 2017? I had never heard of it - not that I hear about every book that comes out, but this is the type of thing I feel like might have been on my radar. it's a lightly fictionalized story of margery williams, author of the velveteen rabbit, and her daughter pamela bianco, artistic prodigy.

the elements are fairly simple - depressive father who is very invested in his daughter's genius, mother who would rather downplay the prodigy angle
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Margery Williams Bianco, author of the children's classic THE VELVETEEN RABBIT, was also the mother of Pamela Bianco, a child art prodigy. Laurel Davis Huber's novel THE VELVETEEN DAUGHTER
sensitively tells Pamela's story with both mother and daughter taking alternating viewpoints. Although recognized by the art world while still a child, Pamela was never confident in either her art or her emotions, even being hospitalized for a long time for a mental breakdown when she was only 18. The novel det
Laurel Freeman
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(4.5) this was a well written account of the child prodigy artist Pamela Bianco as told in alternating first person narratives between her and her mother, Margery Williams Bianco. It is well documented and delivers an accurate representation of New York's Greenwich Village artist and literary cliques of that time. I thoroughly enjoyed the references to the writers and artists woven throughout the book. The only drawback for me personally was the movement of time within parts of the novel. At tim ...more
Tanja Smith
Apr 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Deanna
Shelves: art
4.5 actually. I read this solely because of the title. The Velveteen Rabbit is my absolute favorite children's' book. This story however, is about Pamela Bianco child art prodigy and daughter of Margery Williams. A really fascinating and unknown account of her life. There are some fictional elements but most of the story is from Real life records of the family. I adored all the history and passages from The Velveteen Rabbit. ...more
Barbara Nutting
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding and what a nice surprise. Had no idea what I had selected at the library and did I luck out. A very well written story of the Velveteen Rabbit author Margery Bianco and her life amid a family and daughter in perpetual turmoil. I was surprised that she didn’t mention that Lorenzo/Larry went on to perform in Fiddler, both Broadway and Hollywood and that he and Pamela died just a few months apart. A well researched historical novel.
Karen Raskin
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 1/2 stars. This was a pleasure to read, unfolding in layers often dreamy and poetic, about the lives of Margery Williams Bianco, the author of the Velveteen Rabbit, and Pamela Bianco, her artist daughter. The mother's voice is maternal, the daughter's is sensitive. The author's note shows that she used primary sources and conducted extensive research. Highly recommend. ...more
Lisa Mcbroom
Laurel Davis Huber writes the relationship between Margery Williams Bianco author of The Velveteen Rabbit and her daughter troubled artistic prodigy Pamela.
Feb 23, 2018 rated it liked it
A slow climb to an excellent ending.
Amy Booth
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I just happened upon this book and really enjoyed it. I knew nothing about either of these women and learned a good deal, despite the fictional context.
Apr 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Loved it. Such an interesting group of artists and authors, all intermingled together. I love books that take me to a different time and place, and this one was a unique and unexplored one for me.
Sheila Mulcahy
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Velveteen Daughter (2017) Laura Davis Huber - OMG wonderful story, an absolute MUST READ biographical fiction! Each chapter is told in the voice of the two protagonists, Margery Bianco (successful writer of children's lit including The Velveteen Rabbit) and daughter Pamela (famous artistic prodigy) chronicling the familial turmoil with genius instability and the creation of outstanding art. Writing is stupendous! 4 1/2 Stars. ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • A House Among the Trees
  • The Ice Shelf
  • The Lotus Eaters
  • The Death of Grass
  • UFO in Her Eyes
  • The Everlasting
  • Desire to Inspire: Using Creative Passion to Transform the World
  • What's My Dog Thinking?: Understand Your Dog to Give Them a Happy Life
  • Jeeves and the Wedding Bells (Jeeves, #16)
  • Suncatcher
  • Vegan Goodness: One-Pot Wonders: Easy, Effortless Vegan Recipes, All Made in One Pot, Pan or Tray!
  • The Residents: Made in Wellington
  • A Frenzy of Sparks
  • Fall of Angels (Inspector Redfyre Mystery #1)
  • Two Old Fools in Turmoil
  • Living Free (Story of Elsa, #2)
  • Two Old Fools on a Camel: From Spain to Bahrain and Back Again (Old Fools, #3)
  • Two Old Fools Down Under
See similar books…
Laurel Davis Huber grew up in Rhode Island and Oklahoma. She is a graduate of Smith College. She has worked as a corporate newsletter editor, communications director for a botanical garden, high school English teacher, and senior development officer for both New Canaan Country School and Amherst College. She has studied with the novelist and short-story writer Leslie Pietrzyk (the 2015 Drue Heinz ...more

Related Articles

Readers have a lot to look forward to this year! Just feast your eyes upon all of these debut books to check out and emerging authors to...
113 likes · 35 comments