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The Runaway Bunny (Over the Moon #1)

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  51,582 Ratings  ·  711 Reviews
A little bunny keeps running away from his mother in an imaginative and imaginary game of verbal hide-and-seek; children will be profoundly comforted by this lovingly steadfast mother who finds her child every time.

The Runaway Bunny, first published in 1942 and never out of print, has indeed become a classic. Generations of readers have fallen in love with the gentle magic
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published January 18th 2005 by HarperCollins (first published 1942)
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Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakThe Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric CarleThe Giving Tree by Shel SilversteinGreen Eggs and Ham by Dr. SeussGoodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Best Children's Books
143rd out of 3,720 books — 5,298 voters
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric CarleWhere the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakGreen Eggs and Ham by Dr. SeussGoodnight Moon by Margaret Wise BrownThe Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
Best Picture Books
32nd out of 1,981 books — 1,286 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Sep 14, 2007 corrina rated it liked it
everyone loves this book. everyone remembers it being lovely when they were children. but if you read it again you may find it creepy. i do. the illustrations are beautiful, and the message i s'pose is charming. but my son and i both dislike it. he becomes rigid with boredom when i try to read this to him, and he has pretty good reading stamina for a 2.5 year old. he digs all the classics, but we agree that this book is actually somewhat spooky. the bunny is not really asking mommy to rescue ...more
Nov 20, 2008 Neligh rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: helicopter parents?
Shelves: children
If Max's mother had followed him to Where the Wild Things Are, you would have this book - assuming she allowed him to cross the ocean.

This is the story of a baby bunny and his mother. In it, baby bunny presents a number of imaginary scenarios in which he gets a little bit of independence for himself via turning into a child, a boat, a fish, a bird, and so on. For each scenario, mother bunny counters with how she would immediately catch him no matter what. You're a fish? I'm there with my net. Yo
Jan 25, 2008 bruin rated it it was ok
Shelves: kidsbooks
so, ummm, the runaway bunny tries to set boundaries over and over to take some space in this story and basically their parent, tramples them over and over.. kinda creepy.
Jan 04, 2008 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children frustrated by boundaries and the parents who love them
Shelves: picture-books-jp

My darling Jess decided to run away as a tot. Always the independent sort, the rules of the house were getting to her. Don't clunk your brother on the head, don't steal cookies, don't glue the cat to the floor, the usual. She packed a backpack, put on all her accessories (she was quite into a tiara and lots of beads back then) and set off. I was being the free to be you and me mom I tried to be when not hollering at my children - so I kept my distance and let her leave. With me shadowing her. It
Nov 20, 2007 Joel rated it it was amazing
My all-time favorite children's book. A beautiful picture of love, as well as a beautiful "allegory of the soul." For the adults, watch the movie "Wit" - the book is read in one of the most moving scenes on film. As Augustine said, "Our hearts are restless until we find our rest in Thee."
Aug 31, 2015 Kristi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: harper-read
This one was adorable!
Jan 26, 2008 Walker rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Walker by: Mumsy
The best kids book ever. If you have lost faith in mankind, are being charged by a very angry rhinoceros, can't find your car keys, or are just simply depressed, this book will renew your faith in mankind, make you realize that car keys aren't that important anyway, lift your spirits better then any anti-depressant on the market (black or otherwise), and make the rhinoceros cuddle up with you with a mug of hot apple cider instead of throwing you 50 feet to land with 19 broken ribs and one less ...more
Sep 23, 2012 Emily rated it it was ok
This isn't one I'll be reading to my kids. Wherever you go, your mother will find you, so just stay home and eat a carrot? No thanks. Also, the things the mother changes into to find her bunny are often controlling: a fisherman to his fish; a wind to his sailboat; a gardener to his crocus. If it's about unconditional love, which I think it is, the things they change into could have better supported this message.
Nov 22, 2008 Jessica rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrensbooks
It is hard to discuss children's books at length, but Margaret Wise Brown's books deserve discussion. Both the Runaway Bunny and Goodnight Moon are true classics. Beautifully written and illustrated, these books bring me a sense of calm (I don't know how else to describe it). These are peaceful books that are wonderful to read aloud.
Mar 04, 2009 Deanna rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: any parent of small children
I had forgotten about this book until I ran across it at the library. The writing and illustrations are fantastic. Even though my three-year-old may not fully grasp the concept of ever-reaching mother's love, the drawings really fire up her imagination. Being able to turn oneself into a boat or a bird is pretty cool in her eyes and having Mama Bunny there is very reassuring to her.

It's especially a great book to read while you're preparing your little one for the arrival of a new sibling.

I will
Colton W
Dec 23, 2015 Colton W rated it it was amazing
I love these beautiful pictures. And bunnies are cute.
Sometimes we don't know just what to say. I like hearing myself talk, but I have to admit Ive had my limits. And sometimes, when a child is thoroughly angry with you, your own words may not be what they want to hear. This book was a warm and gentle tool. It was one I pulled out when a toddler was out of control with their anger, but heck, they were still sorta right, too. This one taught my kids that Mom was she who must be obeyed...and yet it also said I'm sorry; and of course: I love you. I ...more
Feb 20, 2008 Felicia rated it it was amazing
This book makes me cry, it's so sweet.
Elisa Pereyra-Molina
Oct 29, 2016 Elisa Pereyra-Molina rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 30, 2016 Jeremy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is read to a terminal cancer patient at the end of this movie, and it is described as "an allegory of the soul."
Another classic by the author of Goodnight Moon. It alternates black and white pages containing conversation between the mother bunny and son bunny, with colorful pages containing no text to emphasize each reunion scene. Reading it recently, I was reminded of another classic, The Giving Tree, which I really dislike. Whereas they are both about the steadfastness of love, I disliked the "sacrifice everything" message of the Giving Tree. Here, the mother is persistent and steadfast, and tries to me ...more
Both my children loved this book and I repeatedly read it to them when they were younger. But I haven't read it recently. This week, I re-watched the 2001 movie "Wit" (starring Emma Thompson) - an HBO production of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize-winning play Wit by Margaret Edson. In one of the final scenes (which always makes me cry), Professor Ashford lays on the hospital bed with terminally-ill and near-death Professor Vivian Bearing and reads her The Runaway Bunny. Both are English professors. Dr. ...more
Oct 29, 2011 Jeffrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another board book my son picked out to read with me. He picks more challenging books with my wife, not sure why I get the easy ones.

Anyway, a fun story about a child who wants to get away from his mother and the lengths she will go to, in discussion, to find him. It can be interpreted as creepy and controlling, much like Rainbow Fish can be viewed as bribe people to become your friends, but there's a quality to the art that makes it endearing.

The format of the story is repetitive, son's move a
Jun 04, 2016 RLL22016_TeresaCamacho rated it it was amazing
This children’s book tells the story about a young bunny thinking of all of the ways he could run away from his mother. .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 ...more
September Michaud
Publication date: 1942

The illustrations in this story feel quite dated--most of them are sketches and the colored pictures feature the mother rabbit with red eyes.

However, the story is targeted toward younger children who would benefit from the reassurance of their parents' unwavering love.

The main theme is this concept: "No matter where you go or what you do, I will always be there to pick you up and to love you."

But it comes off a little bit like: "You will never escape me."

Again and again,
Rebecca Davies
Sep 03, 2012 Rebecca Davies rated it really liked it
Shelves: pg3300
The Runaway Bunny is one of the stories that causes you to reminisce upon the times where you are told by your mother that whatever you may be in life, she loves you and you will always be her baby.
For a child, this is an easy story, the rabbit character makes it more accessible for the younger child. The story does retain the important message of the Mother Bunny being ready to follow the Runaway Bunny wherever he will go, or be with him whatever he becomes.It is a touching story for young chil
Nov 24, 2014 Jamie rated it it was ok
I can't stand this book. The runaway bunny's mom is a stalker!

Also, every other page is black-and-white and not very interesting, so my baby is only interested in the colored pages, but there is no writing on the colored pages, so I am constantly making up lame reasons why the bunny is pretending to be a fish or a rock.

I really don't understand why this is a classic. I find it creepy.
Jul 14, 2015 Jordan rated it liked it
Really, the only thing saving this book from a restraining order is the loving illustration of a winged, flying bunny. With a bunny tree lying in wait to capture it. #IWILLFINDYOU

Buy this title from Powell's Books.
Melissa  I
Jun 08, 2016 Melissa I rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read forever ago over and over to my little ones who aren't so little anymore. A forever favorite with extremely precious and sentimental reading memories. Especially during the parts when my babies used to read it to me. A memory and a story that's held close to the heart always.
Mar 07, 2016 Mitchell rated it really liked it
Mother Bunny as stalker, its kind of creepy. But it is saved by good enough writing, and some fantastic colored art - my favorites being the Bunny Bird and the Bunny Sailboat. And the completely useful line of "have a carrot" is something we quote in our house all the time.
Aug 31, 2012 Shauna rated it it was amazing

My heart is warm and full of love tonight as I watch my husband read this book to my tiny son. I had it at four stars, but now it will always be this will always be a special book for me.
Mar 26, 2014 Ashley rated it it was ok
I think Crocus might be a hard word for children to understand though.
When I read this with my almost 3 year old daughter last night in my head I was like WTF is a crocus?
Dichotomy Girl
Avery's Review: **gets up off the couch and runs away screaming** "I'm the Runaway have to find me!!!"
Oct 24, 2016 Aneesa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
My copy of this book still has a homemade pocket taped inside it in case you want to check it out of my library. Last person to do so was "Donald Daddy."
Jul 02, 2015 J rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens, gus
What weird illustrations - I love them! I don't really want gus to ever ask me such questions as the bunny did however.
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Margaret Wise Brown wrote hundreds of books and stories during her life, but she is best known for Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny. Even though she died nearly 60 years ago, her books still sell very well.

Margaret loved animals. Most of her books have animals as characters in the story. She liked to write books that had a rhythm to them. Sometimes she would put a hard word into the story or p
More about Margaret Wise Brown...

Other Books in the Series

Over the Moon (3 books)
  • Goodnight Moon
  • My World: A Companion to Goodnight Moon

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“If you become a bird and fly away from me, I will be a tree that you come home to.” 22 likes
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