Author: Jennifer Huget
Illustrator: Red Nose Studio
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade, 2013
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