PPBF: Beginner’s Guide to Running Away from Home

Author: Jennifer Huget
Illustrator: Red Nose Studio
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade, 2013
Age: 4-8
Themes: running away, family life
Opening: Sorry, I can’t play right now. I’m getting ready to run away from home. And you know what that’s like, right? What’s that? You’ve never run away? Okay, then, stick around. I’ll show you how it’s done.
Summary: (from the publisher) What kid hasn’t wanted to make their parents feel sorry for treating him badly? And how better to accomplish this than to run away? Here’s a guide showing how, from what to pack (gum–then you won’t have to brush your teeth) to how to survive (don’t think about your cozy bed). Ultimately, though, readers will see that there really is no place like home. Like Judith Viorst’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, here’s a spot-on portrait of a kid who’s had it. And like Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are, it’s also a journey inside a creative kid’s imagination: that special place where parents aren’t allowed without permission.

Why I like it: Just like my son, I am enamored with all things miniature, and I love to make puppets, so this is just the sort of creative endeavor that I drool over! But when I purchased this, the friends with me said this would not be the style of book they would want to read to their younger children: the faces were not sweet, the story seems like it’s for older kids. All of that may be true, I mean – the parent has to want to read it too, right? Personally I think it’s important to show kids’ faces are not always cute (esp. some big brothers!), that issues such as running away should be discussed, and the art in this book is so imaginative, I think many would want to create figures/puppets of their own – inciting creativity is what I LOVE in a picture book!

Resources/Activities: first go to Seven Imps to read all about Chris Sickels (a.k.a. Red Nose Studio) and his sculptural and 3D illustrations; check out all the ideas on creating puppets, figures, toys and so much more by scrolling through this link: The Crafty Crow


26 thoughts on “PPBF: Beginner’s Guide to Running Away from Home

  1. Yes perfectly you, Julie! That face is awesome and it must be so hard to come up with an original face by now. Won’t they ever run out? (Oh my goodness I think I’ve just given myself a pb idea yippee!) Love it Julie :0)


  2. Phew! I’m sure glad the author eventually comes to the conclusion that it’s not worth the effort to run away 😉 The heads lined up on the ground are a bit creepy, but the clay figures are fascinating to examine. Very clever, Julie!


  3. I am laughing as I read your review. This book is you! I like how the author handles the subject. This is a great discussion book because so many kids have blurted out these same words. Could be a useful book to have around. Nice choice.


  4. Oh yes, Julie…I can so identify with the candy wrapper incident.:) Just the other day, I gave my grandson a bunch of empty boxes and he built a super rocket ship and took me on a trip to the moon. After a week of having the boxes take up half the living room, I cleared them away…saving them all in two huge black plastic garbage bags. Sure enough, when he came home from school, he asked, “Where is my rocket ship?” I showed him the bags in the garage and he is planning his next invention to be built next weekend.:)

    This is a GREAT book…and I truly thank you for the review and for explaining why you picked it from your perspective. If I had seen this book at the library before, I’m sure I would have passed it by, thinking the expressions were scary and not for a young child. HOWEVER, the feelings that are expressed ARE what young kids are experiencing…how valuable for them to see that others feel that way as well.:) So you helped me see it in a different way. 🙂


  5. I like your thinking Ms RZ. I, myself, have never wanted to run away from home, and I guess it does seem like an odd title for a PB, but I like odd myself. And Love illustrations that involve some work. Makes me wonder how they do it!! Adds so much extra to a story. Thanks for sharing this one. I’ll be looking for it.


  6. Pingback: PPBF: Beginner’s Guide to Running Away from Home | phatgirlsdream

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