The Runaway Bunny Apr 2, 2009
ISBN 0061074292 - I'm kind of surprised to find myself mostly up the middle on this book. Largely loved, it does have good points, but it's hardly the outstanding story I'd expected. I'd give it 2 1/2 stars but can't, so 2 it is.
A nameless little bunny says he's going to run away and his mother tells him she will follow him. As he plans to become various things to hide from her, she is equally imaginative in the ways she will find him.
There is a little of the stalker-mom in the mother bunny, but we're talking about (a) little kids and (b) bunnies. It is extraordinarily unlikely that the target age group of 0-3 is going to be freaked out by the idea that Mommy will do anything and go anywhere to keep you safe. That's actually a fairly comforting idea. It's the person who reads the book and the tone they use that makes the difference. Make "If you run away, I will run after you." sound like a threat and you've changed the entire sense of the book.
So it isn't the freaked out parents that make me two-star this book. It's actually the book itself. On the pages where there is text, the drawings are pleasant black and white drawings; where there is no text, the illustrations are almost all gaudily colored and badly drawn (with one exception, when the mother bunny is the tree that the baby bunny as a bird flies home to). The stark difference between these two styles just isn't attractive at all and, because a huge part of childrens' books is the illustrations, the board book edition of The Runaway Bunny just doesn't cut it.