Margaret Wise Brown’s The Runaway Bunny tells a story about a little bunny wanting to run away from his mother. The little bunny tells his mother he is going to runaway and his mother simply responds that she will catch him. The little bunny replies, “If you run after me, I will become a fish in a trout stream.” His mother then replies she will, “become a fisherman and catch him.” With imaginative and clever dialogue this story teaches a lesson that no matter how hard the little bunny may try to runaway, a mother’s love cannot keep her away from her child. It is an endearing story with imaginative writing and quiet illustrations. A solid and standard addition to any elementary school library collection.
Insight: I love this story for its playfulness and brightly colored illustrations. My daughter loves how the words flow like musical notes. This is a great story to read to little ones before bedtime.
Suggested Library Activity:
This story would be especially fun used in a story time for younger readers ages 2-6. Using an extra large box acquired from a store create a puppet house. Get creative and create the mommy bunny and baby bunny, including any props and backgrounds that assist in the telling of the story. If you want to get really fancy, have a friend that plays guitar come and add music to the show. The sillier the better and the more you get into the show, the more the audience will enjoy the show. After all, isn’t that the whole point of a puppet show?
Brown, M. (1942). The runaway bunny. New York: HarperCollins.
Runaway Bunny constitutes yet another divisive children’s title. Many people (most?) would say that it’s a sweet and comforting tale of a parent’s unconditional and eternal love for their child. But there is a segment of the population that finds the book disturbing. Some feel that the bunny is honestly trying to make a break for freedom, but that its mother is preventing this escape, and crushing its spirit. The book can be read a number of different ways, but generally it’s still a very well regarded picture book title.
Said Bethany Miller Cole of Children’s Literature about the book, “Clement Hurd’s black and white and colorful, dream-like illustrations grace spreads throughout the book, bringing to life perfectly the imagination of the young and the depth of love a parent has for a child. Children and the adults who love them will treasure this story.”
Top 100 Picture Books Poll Results (2009, April 7). Review of The Runaway Bunny. Retrieved from