“Once there was a little bunny who wanted to run away.”
So begins The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown, a book you and your child will enjoy over and over and over again.
The little bunny tells his mother of his wishes, and his mother promises to run after him.
He imagines all the different ways he could run away from his mother, and his mother creatively answers every one.
“If you become a crocus in a hidden garden,” said his mother, “I will be a gardener. And I will find you.”
To an adult in this day & age, this always following and finding the runaway bunny may feel a tiny bit creepy. But Brown writes so tenderly and lovingly that the message children learn from this book is they can never run from their parent’s love.
That’s the conclusion the little bunny comes to at the end of the book.
“Shucks,” said the bunny, “I might just as well stay where I am and be your little bunny.”
And so he did.
Brown successfully eliminated any hint of rebellion in this story, and instead made it like a game of hide-and-seek between the bunny and his mother. Clement Hurd illustrates the book with both pen and ink drawings and colorful, two-spread pages bringing the mother’s mental pictures of hunting for her little bunny to life.
Children up to second or third grade will enjoy hearing this book or reading it to themselves – toddlers and preschoolers will appreciate it best.