Young Reader in the Making

Young Reader in the Making

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Book 200: The Runaway Bunny

The Runaway Bunny, by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd, Harper & Row 1942, board book Harper Collins, 1991.  Baby, Toddler, Preschool.

This is one of those books that I can't believe I haven't written about sooner.  I started reading this book to my son early in his first year.  He is well into his fifth year and I still read it to him, when I can find it.  It's that finding it thing that might explain the delay in the review.  This is one of those books that he likes to read himself.  At night.  When he is supposed to be sleeping.  I found it under his bed tonight when I was chasing the cat out of his room.

I think it is best to have a healthy sense of humor when reading Runaway Bunny; otherwise, it might seem a bit strange or creepy.  The premise is that the young rabbit has decided that he wants to run away from home, so he decides to turn into another creature or object, like a crocus, to hide or run away.  His mother then says she will turn into another creature or object, like a gardener, to find him.  After of few of these proposed transitions, the young rabbit decides to stay home.  And his mother gives him a carrot.  Early on, my son laughed at the exaggeration of the story.  That, as I've said, is the best way to enjoy the book.

Clarence Hurd's illustrations also help set the stage for levity and not gravity.  They also are extreme in their exaggeration and imbibed with subtle humor.  The sailboat and cloud is particularly wonderfully silly. His illustrations are, in short, perfect.

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