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on October 14, 2000
This was the FIRST book I bought when I was pregnant with my first child. I was browsing in a bookstore and recognized it IMMEDIATELY from childhood. I have read this book to my daughter since she was 1 month old and it is still one of her very favorite books! (She is 2 years old now.) Margaret WISE Brown was definitely WISE to write this endearing book which demonstrates the depth of a mother's love for her child.
The storyline is simple yet spellbinding--the bunny wants to run away from his mother. Each time he imagines he is something different and his mother matches his imagination by becoming whom or whatever is needed to find him: he's a fish, she's a fisherman; he's a rock, she's a mountain climber; he's a flower (crocus), she's a gardener; and my personal favorite (as a child and still today) he's a bird, and she's the tree that he comes home to; and more.
This is a very special book in so many ways. The bright colors on every other full page spread make the book more captivating because of the contrast from the black and white illustration on the previous full page. (In other words, the color alternates with black and white.) But the story of the mother's love which makes the bunny realize how lucky he is to have a mother who would literally follow him to the ends of the earth to be with him and protect him and just love him...THAT is what touches me the most.
Bottom line, this book should really be available in a gold edition because that is what it will always be worth to me and my daughter. I highly recommend this to all--both young and old. (Check out GOODNIGHT MOON as well.)
Thank you, Margaret for such a heart-felt story of love; and thank you, Clement for your bright and joyful illustrations!
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on May 17, 1999
I first heard a few lines from this book on a T.V. show, and I was in tears! I ran straight to my computer and ordered it. This book is a must have for every child (and parent!). I have never read a book expressing the love of a mother for her child so beautifully. The mother bunny becomes whatever it takes for her to "find" her little bunny as he dreams of different things to be to run away from her. The mother bunny doesn't condemn him, but conforms to his thoughts and dreams and "chases" after him as he tells her what he will become and how he'll run away. I loved the way the mother spoke so lovingly to her little bunny, letting him know that no matter where he went, she'd find him. My son loves the brilliantly colorful images on every other page. It is a nice contrast to the black and white writing in between. This has become a favorite in my home and I intend to give this book as a gift to any and every mother (or mother-to-be) that I know!
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on March 17, 1998
If there were a classic book to express a mother's love for her child, it would be this one. A little bunny announces to his mother that he plans to run away. "If you run away," his mother replies, "I will run after you. For you are my little bunny." The little bunny then tells his mother all the things he would do to escape her, and she counters with all the things she would do to get close to him again. He will turn into a fish and swim away from her; she will turn into a fisherman and catch him. He will become a rock on a high mountain; she will become a mountain climber and climb to where he is. Finally, he decides that if his mother is willing to go to those lengths to stay close to him, he might as well stay where he is.
What I like most about this book is that the mother doesn't try to change her little bunny into what she wants him to be. Instead, she changes herself. If he's going to be a bird, she's going to change into "a tree that you come home to." This book helps me remember that although my children may never be the children I thought I'd have (how did I get a daughter who hates pink ribbons and bows?), I can be the mother that they need, meeting them on their own terms.
Another book that deals with this same theme in a funnier, but still sweet, way is "I Love You, Stinky Face," by Lisa McCourt. My children and I give Stinky Face a perfect 10!
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on March 14, 2006
Creepy? I wonder about people who use the word 'creepy' when something is far less than 'creepy'.

Too many reviewers presenting bad reviews pretend they have a great understanding of the child psyche or literature - or both. One reviewer goes so far as to suggest that it is wrong to associate non-rabbit traits, such as swimming, to a rabbit. If you are one of these reviewers, find something more useful to do with your time. Another reviewer suggests that the book is teaching children to runaway in the grocery store.

The book is actually a simplified and child-oriented version of Voltaire's Candide, where after travelling the world looking for personal freedom and adventure and a more interesting place to live, Candide ends up back at his old home by his OWN free will to tend his garden, having survived all other misadventures.

Although I don't find the book remarkable, it is guilty of none of the overstated negative traits -- even if the overprotective Parent who fears a book with a message of an "overprotective Parent" may see it this way.

Yes, the subject is running away - it is the title of the book.

And yes, almost all children at almost any age entertain the idea at least once. And many parents fear the child's thought almost as much as the unlikely juvenile act itself.

The mother does NOT always chase down the little bunny. Sometimes she places herself in a position of passive access or support, at the expense of her own freedom. This is natural for a parent. And the mother is not forcing her will on the child or breaking the will of a child - the book clearly illustrates that the bunny has come to his own decision to stay at his home, even if the rationale is unclear. You might say that it is because he can't get away from his mom -- EXCEPT for the illustrations where he is going TO his mom. If the book were longer, and without a mother, then maybe the bunny would give detailed descriptions of why being a fish is not fun. But this is a book for a child, who does not yet depend on reason but on seemingly arbitrary boundaries defined by adults. And he finally decided his current boundaries aren't all that bad.

If you are an adult, and you are reading this book and feeling oppression, get some counseling.
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VINE VOICEon May 19, 2011
I have spent many hours on line and in book stores researching for the best books for young ones (babies mainly)--reading books, reading what others have said, thinking about the books, and I am very happy to have aquired a copy of "The Runaway Bunny". Wow this book was published in 1942, but I did not have the priveledge of knowing it, nor did I have a copy for my own sons. What a loss! I like this one even better than "Goodnight Moon", which we did own. It is clever, playful, loving and creative. Little bunny announces that he is running away. He doesn't say "from you" or "to [someplace]"; his statement seems to be a provacative one to find out what his mother will say. I think her reply is perfect: "If you run away, I will run after you. FOR YOU ARE MY LITTLE BUNNY." Mom is doing the right thing for the right reason (I read those one-and two-star haters' reviews, and I don't get that reasoning at all): she lets the bunny know that she will make sure that she will always make sure he is safe, because he is her little bunny." (ie, I love you, so I won't let anything happen to you)

Almost every day I am seeing things on the internet about things that happened to little children because their parent was not watching them close enough (playing on facebook instead of watching a toddler take a bath), or actually doing harm to the child out of their own twisted mental illness. I think mother bunny has a healthy attitude and is not stalking her baby--she always comes to him. She doesn't yank him roughly out of his play. For example, when he decides to become a fish in the stream, she becomes a fisher to catch him with a carrot (NOT a hook) and a net. If he joins the circus and flys away on the flying trapeze, she will not stay safely at home, but will become a tightrope walker and walk in the air to him. This is what real parents do, they will risk anything to make sure their child is safe. That's what I read in this book.

I especially like the next part when the bunny decides to become a little boy and run into a house, because the mommy bunny "will become his mother and catch you in my arms and hug you." Then the next page (each two pages with text and line drawings is followed by a colorful two page illustration) shows the bunny "boy" safely sitting on the bunny mother's lap as she rocks in a rocking chair in a room reminiscent of "Good Night Moon" room. So bunny decides he might as well stay home and be her little bunny, mom says "have a carrot", and the last lovely two page color illustration shows the bunnies in their cozy home under a tree near a garden.

My little grandson bunny will be born next month, and I am still puzzling out which books to get (within my budget), but no hesitation on this one. Recommend.
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on April 9, 2002
How to define a mother? Her heart offers unconditional love - as close to divinity as a human being can hope to be. For this wonderful children's book to survive as intact in its message of unconditional love since its publication in 1942 as this one has, only goes to show how timeless some messages remain through all ages, through all changes. A mother's love has no expiration date.
My children are grown. Not beyond my unconditional love, which will always be theirs, but they have grown beyond the capacity of my lap and our once-upon-a-time story hour. But even as they entered those nerve wracking teen years, and now no less testing adult years, I have found this message is one that I repeat to them again and again. Will always love you... will always be here for you... always and beyond all space and time and boundaries...
Margaret Wise Brown's "The Runaway Bunny" was a pleasure I shared with my children when they were small. We each felt our measure of comfort in reading the simple lines about the little bunny with attitude, having his little runaway tantrum. Mama will love him to whatever corners of the earth he runs to; she will find him there, anywhere, and she will bring him home to the warmth of her arms and her mother's heart every time. With love like this, little bunny realizes there is no need to run.
Interestingly enough, the charm of this book had faded in my memory until the book surfaced in a recent (and excellent) movie, "Wit," with Emma Thompson. The children's book is read to the dying woman as her soul struggles to run away from its torment, in fear and pain within her... and it helps her relax her fear and release her soul into the divine unconditional love available to her, in a metaphor for God, the Father. This interpretation added another dimension to the story - and, intrigued, I picked up the book once again.
This kind of love - and our need for it - never gets old. The book is a collectible classic - for the child with attitude in us all, for the spirit longing for Home.
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I will always be there for you. That sentiment, that commitment, is at the heart of this book. My favorite book by this renowned author, its clever, reassuring story and captivating pictures will soothe your infant or toddler.
And when and your little one is asleep, read it again, to yourself. Don't be surprised if its simple beauty mists your eyes a little. A book that will be treasured for years to come.
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on May 28, 2000
This is one of those great books that trancends time. As a child I loved this book and now my own two children, ages three years and eighteen months,love this story.
This is a story that,regardless of the age of your child,will show them that no matter where they go or what they do,your love for them is endless.
I can remember once,as a teenager going through a particularly rebellious stage,my mother brought out my dogeared copy of Runaway Bunny,sat me down and actually read it to me. Sounds corny,I know,but the message was there. No matter what I did or said,I was loved.
Buy this book now and start reinforcing that message from infancy through adulthood. This book IS that good.
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on January 23, 2011
... with parenting (and childing) in this Grand Old Republic? You betcha we do! But the last place I expected to find another front in the culture wars was in a review of this 'classic' of little-kids' literature.

I haven't opened this book for fifteen or sixteen years, not since I read it to my son as often as he asked for it, i.e. eight-gazillion times. But I remember it fondly. It depicts a teasing game between a mother and a child, just the sort of teasing game that my son often played with me and his mother, not even a testing game really because his and our security in each other was too strong to need testing. The little bunny's challenge to his mother, that he will run away and change his identity, is obviously a request for her commitment to expand her affection and support as he begins to sense the approach of growing-up and actually going forth. She responds just as he hopes (and knows) she will.

Another reviewer, my amazon friend in the Ozarks, suggested that I look at the one-star reviews of this book, of which there are a dismaying number. I have looked, and I'm both flabbered and gasted. Some of the 0ne-Starsers are obviously such poor literal readers, as well as being picture illiterate, that they simply don't understand the affect of the story. Or else they're been discouraged somehow from ever 'reading between the lines'. Some of them are plainly ideology-poisoned, even when reading a children's book. What they miss is that the little bunny feels so secure in his Mother's Love that he can tease her and feel even more secure when she assures him that her love can reach anywhere and even forgive a little abandonment, that synonym for "growing up."
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on November 12, 2002
As an adult, this is one of the books from my childhood that I kept with me. The illustrations are beautiful, and the sentiment is timeless. This is a book about a mother's love for her child, and how she will accept his changes and adventures and always be there with him, guiding and nurturing him. I remember, as a small child, waiting with glee for the wordless color double-pages so that I could point out which flower or sailboat was the baby bunny and sort out which part of the illustration was the mother bunny, as well.
How many times in life have we come home to our parents, exhausted and wanting unquestioning, loyal support? If only they all could welcome us home with the words, "Have a carrot."
Now that I have a daughter, I've been given this book in board-book form, and it's wonderful. She can knock it around without it getting utterly destroyed. The age this book is really perfect for, though, is right around two years old.
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