A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Violence & Scariness
No real violence, but some of the personified food is eaten.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that food is personified, named, and then eaten in this story. If kids have no issue with that, they'll find plenty to laugh at in the pandemonium that ensues as a result of the food chase.
Is It Any Good?
This book is full of silliness, and to its great benefit, it's cleverly written and illustrated. THE RUNAWAY DINNER is a cross between the story of the wily Gingerbread Man and "Hey, diddle diddle the cat and the fiddle" -- especially "the dish ran away with the spoon" part. Kids will get a kick out of Melvin, the sausage, as he streaks across town with his culinary entourage. Allan Ahlberg has created a friendly, tongue-in-cheek tone that will make kids want to join in on the fun.
The story moves along briskly while the narrator interjects casual comments and questions about how true the story is, what has happened to this character or that, and how mysterious or fun it's all becoming. The flat acrylic paintings coupled with uncolored, ink-lined drawings are inviting and entertaining. Illustrated by Bruce Ingman, each page looks like a kid's painting and offers plenty to look at, search for, and count.
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