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The Runaway Bunny
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Goodnight Moon author Margaret Wise Brown's classic The Runaway Bunny is a rhythmic, sweet exchange between a mother bunny and her little bunny. The little bunny, who wants to run away, imagines taking other forms, such as a fish in a trout stream, a crocus in a hidden garden, a rock on a mountaintop. His mother assures him that wherever he goes, she will find a way to be with him: as a fisherman, a gardener, a rockclimber. Clement Hurd's soft, charming illustrations -- some black and white, and some color--show the little bunny in these different imagined forms and places. Some parents find it stifling that the mother bunny insists she will be wherever her little bunny goes. However, generations of children have found little bunny's imagined adventures entertaining, and the mother bunny's voice reassuring.
What's the story?
Sitting safely on his mother bunny's lap, little bunny says that he wants to run away. When she tells him that, if he runs away, she'll run after him \"because you are my little bunny,\" he begins to imagine running off to all kinds of places and adventures: He'll become a fish in a stream and swim away. He'll become a crocus in a hidden garden, or a sailboat, or a rock on a mountaintop. Each time he has another idea, mother bunny assures him that she'll find him. She'll be a fisherman, or a gardener, or the wind, or a rockclimber to be with her son. Eventually, the story comes full circle, with little bunny saying he'll become a little boy and run into a house. Of course, mother bunny says she'll be the little boy's mother, and catch him in her arms and hug him.
Is it any good?
Margaret Wise Brown's The Runaway Bunny is charming, sweet, and reassuring. It's a little more action-oriented than her best-known book, Goodnight Moon, but the rhythm of little bunny and mother bunny's dialogue is similarly soothing to little children. Clement Hurd's illustrations, also, are as warm and delightful as they are in Goodnight Moon. Very young children find little bunny's imagination inspiring, and his cozy spot on mother bunny's lap by the fire gives The Runaway Bunny a nice bedtime feeling.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about animals. Can bunnies swim? What swims in a stream?
What's a crocus? Can you see the little bunny inside a crocus?
What does little bunny eat?
Families can also talk about how they feel about the mother's responses. Is she right for wanting to stay with him wherever he goes?
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