The Beginner’s Guide to Running Away from Home by Jennifer Larue Huget, illustrated by Red Nose Studio
This book is a humorous look at running away from home done in the format of an instructional booklet on how exactly to run away. First you have to find a reason for running away, perhaps a new baby, or your older brother can stay up later than you, or your mother threw away your candy wrapper collection. Then you have to pack, make sure to take plenty of snacks including gum, that way you won’t need a toothbrush. Then comes the farewell note. Make it sad enough that your parents will cry when they find it. Now you need to figure out where to live. Keep walking until you can’t see your house anymore, then stop for a snack. And think about living in the park forever, or if living with a friend would be better than at home. But don’t think about what you like about your family at all or you might find yourself running back home.
Huget’s tone is perfect in her text. She manages to be humorous about the situation but also not dismissive of the feelings that the child has. Her wording works very nicely aloud, making this a book that is best shared and giggled at together.
Red Nose Studio, the illustrators of Here Comes the Garbage Barge, continue with their signature 3-D figures. They use perspective very cleverly here, offering different levels of focus that show speed and point the eye to where they want you to look first. The result are illustrations that are unique and dynamic.
Thanks to the humor and the illustrations, this is a book about running away that is worth seeking out. Appropriate for ages 4-6.
Reviewed from copy received from Random House Children’s Books.