The Runaway

Marianne Cooper
Bryant Books, LLC (2021)
ISBN 978-1087908250
Reviewed by Grady Darrell (age 8) for Reader Views Kids (01/2022)

“The Runaway” is a really good book about a boy who is tired of his parents arguing, and decides to run away, changing from animal to animal along the way. However, when he finally gets to a faraway island, he realizes that the place he just left—that is, the place he calls home—is the place where he should be. Ultimately, I believe that the moral of the story is to be grateful for what we have, and that what we want is often not what is good for us, because we can’t h’ve everything in life.

I quite liked the illustrations. They were colorful and had bright and dark colors that contrasted in a very nice way. I also liked the fact that Marianne Cooper allowed the boy to shape-shift, because it added an element of fantasy and magic I think we all loved. Among the few things I did not like was that Cooper did not give the boy a name. I think it would have added a bit more background to the boy and would have earned the final star for me.

“The Runaway” is listed as being for 5-11-year-olds; however, I feel it is better suited for 3-7-year-olds, especially those who like moral stories, stories with a meaning and with a hint of fantasy. And although I would not usually read short picture books like this, I felt this one was important to read because of the significant message it carries.

A book I read and would compare to this one is “The Runaway Bunny”, which has a similar plotline, shape-shifting and all; however, the bunny replaces the boy. I can relate to the book because when I hear people fight, I really don’t like it.

In conclusion, “The Runaway” is a very fun book, and has a creative element with the shape-shifting, though I wish the main character had a name, because without one it made it hard to get close to him.

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