The Runaway Bunny, written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd, is a sweet story that tells the tale of a little bunny's imaginative plan to run away. But no matter how or where he wants to go to get away from her, the mother will always find a way to be with him and be there to keep an eye on him. The storyline is simple yet spellbinding. Each time the little bunny wants to become something different in order to run away, his mother matches his imagination by becoming whatever is needed to find him.
For example, if he a fish, the mother will be a fisherman; if he is a rock, she becomes a mountain climber or if he is a flower, she will be a gardener. The Runaway Bunny has a writing style that can easily be incorporated into lessons within a classroom. Margaret Wise Brown incorporates a method of “cause and effect” style to her writing. Therefore, it teaches the children that there will be a reaction resulting from the action, and the outcome depends on the nature of the cause. In this case, it is the mother’s love that spoils his plan to protect him from running away.
During reading the story with students, the teacher can make some expression in a creative way to show her emotion as the mother bunny continually says what she would do if the little bunny decided to do all the things he was saying. This reading expression can draw the children’s interest and help them to make connections to the story better. For example, the teacher can change her voice tone and facial expression when the little bunny says that he wanted to run away such as “If you run away,” said his mother, “I will run after you.
For you are my little bunny” or when he responds with “If you run after me” said the little bunny, I will become a fish in a trout stream and I will swim away from you. “If you become a fish in a trout stream” said his mother, “I will become a fisherman and I will fish for you”. In The Runaway Bunny, not only the story of the book captures the children’s attention but the colorful illustration also makes it harder for the children to turn away.
The bright colors on every other full page spread make the book more captivating because of the contrast of the color to black and white illustration in between pages. This book should be included in pre-school children’s book collection because it reflects the mother’s unconditional love for her child, it also teaches the children that no matter what they do, their mothers will always be there for them, and to take care of them.