Author(s): Belinda Landsberry
An old toy rabbit finds himself in a box of toys being donated to charity. "But it wasn't always this way," Tock sadly reflects, "Once I was loved." We rewind the clock to 1939 when a girl named Sam receives a toy rabbit for her 5th birthday. From that moment, Sam and Tock are inseparable. They're together when Sam hugs her father goodbye as he marches off to war. They're together when they visit polio patients at the hospital, but sadly part when Sam gives Tock to Flynn, a gravely ill boy in an iron lung. Flynn slowly recovers, but Tock is dropped from his hospital window as he watches the celebrations marking the end of the war. Tock is found by Max, and together they are swept up in the newest music craze of the 1950s: rock 'n' roll. Max grows up and hands his beloved toy rabbit on to his son, Toby, and in 1969, Toby and Tock watch the first Moon landing. In 1974, Tock is found in a park by Pip, a 'flower child' from the Hippie movement. And so Tock's adventures continue through to the present day, when an old lady is sorting toys donated to charity. Her name badge reads 'Sam' -- after nearly 90 years, Sam is finally reunited with her beloved Tock. A celebration of the timeless nature of love and set against the backdrop of iconic moments in 20th-century history, the heart-warming picture book Once I Was Loved will resonate with anyone who has ever cherished a childhood toy.