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Over the Moon #1

The Runaway Bunny

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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 of its reassuring words and loving pictures.

48 pages, Hardcover

First published June 5, 1942

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About the author

Margaret Wise Brown

391 books837 followers
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 70 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 poem. She thought this made children think harder when they are reading.

She wrote all the time. There are many scraps of paper where she quickly wrote down a story idea or a poem. She said she dreamed stories and then had to write them down in the morning before she forgot them.

She tried to write the way children wanted to hear a story, which often isn't the same way an adult would tell a story. She also taught illustrators to draw the way a child saw things. One time she gave two puppies to someone who was going to draw a book with that kind of dog. The illustrator painted many pictures one day and then fell asleep. When he woke up, the papers he painted on were bare. The puppies had licked all the paint off the paper.

Margaret died after surgery for a bursting appendix while in France. She had many friends who still miss her. They say she was a creative genius who made a room come to life with her excitement. Margaret saw herself as something else - a writer of songs and nonsense.

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5 stars
38,739 (48%)
4 stars
20,074 (24%)
3 stars
13,633 (16%)
2 stars
4,824 (5%)
1 star
3,195 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,151 reviews
Profile Image for corrina.
10 reviews
September 15, 2007
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 him; he wants a little space and freedom. if bunny were to say, "how about i go down to the depths of hell to escape you?" mommy rabbit would reply, "than i shall morph into lucifer and gobble you up in my fiery flames of fire."
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews46 followers
January 21, 2020
The Runaway Bunny (Over the Moon #1), Margaret Wise Brown, Clement Hurd (Illustrator)

A little bunny tells his mother that he is going to run away, becoming variously a fish, a rock on a mountain, a crocus in a hidden garden, a bird, a sailboat, a circus acrobat, and finally a little boy, until he resigns himself to stay where he is and remain her little bunny. Mother Bunny appears as a fisherman, a mountain climber, a gardener, a tree, a cloud, a trapeze walker, and finally the mother herself.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: سال 1995 میلادی

عنوان: خ‍رگ‍وش‍ک‌ ب‍ل‍ب‍ل‍ه‌ گ‍وش‌؛ ب‍راس‍اس‌ داس‍ت‍ان‍ی‌ از: م‍ارگ‍ارت‌ وای‍ز ب‍راون‌؛ ب‍ازن‍وی‍س‌: م‌. آزاد؛ ت‍ص‍وی‍رگ‍ر: ک‍ل‍م‍ن‍ت‌ ه‍ورد؛ ت‍ه‍ران‌: ک‍ان‍ون‌ پ‍رورش‌ ف‍ک‍ری‌ ک‍ودک‍ان‌ و ن‍وج‍وان‍ان‌، 1373؛ 19 ص؛ مصور؛ چاپ دوم 1378؛ شابک: 9644322460؛

خرگوش کوچولوی بلبله گوش با مادرش توی یک لانه نقلی قشنگ زندگی میکرد. اما او که زرنگ و باهوش بود، گاهی بازیگوشی میکرد و از لانه فرار کرده و به جاهای دور میرفت، یکروز که باز میخواست از لانه فرار کند، با مادر خویشش شروع به پرسش و پاسخ کرد؛ ...؛ این داستان با تصاویر ساده و اشعار زیبا جالب و خواندنی است. ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Neligh.
26 reviews
November 21, 2008
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. You're a boat? I'll be the wind and blow you where I want you to go.

When the child psychiatrist John Bowlby explained that a secure attachment for children is created by parents who "whilst always encouraging their children's autonomy, are nonetheless available and responsive when called upon," I don't think this is what he had in mind. How much better if she had said "I will be a safe harbor to which you can always return."
Profile Image for Tina Haigler.
297 reviews102 followers
September 10, 2021
I have to be honest. I'm shocked by the amount of negativity this book got in the reviews. It's just downright silly. This is obviously about a young rabbit, who is angry about something--probably being told to clean his room or the like--not a teenage rabbit who wants to go out and enter the world. The message here is that the mother will always be there to love him and protect him, even if that means saving him from himself, since he is too young to understand the consequences of his actions. And before you assume that I'm a helicopter parent, I assure you, I am quite the opposite, so my parenting style has no bearing on my opinion of the matter. Honestly, to me at least, this book had the same vibe as I'll Love You Forever, which is my husband's favorite childhood book. The edition I got from the library had black and white pictures with the text and then a full two page spread of color depicting what was said on the previous pages, and it was all beautiful. I highly recommend it to kids of all ages, especially the stubborn ones.
Profile Image for Hilary .
2,261 reviews404 followers
May 11, 2019
4.5 stars. Beautiful illustrations of a mother rabbit and her son. I can see how this might read as the rabbit son is stifled by his mother whom there is just no escape from, if you read it with this in mind it does become quite amusing, but I can see it's intended to show that the mother rabbit is there for her child no matter what, no matter where. I really liked the imagination of the scenes illustrated, the rabbit son sprouting wings and the rabbit mother becoming a tree was wonderful. This was a very peaceful and imaginative read which I'm sure would be a wonderful bedtime story.

Read on openlibrary.
Profile Image for bruin.
105 reviews39 followers
January 25, 2008
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.
Profile Image for Ken.
2,204 reviews1,329 followers
August 2, 2021
I need to know where Daddy Bunny is during all this...

Considered a classic picturebook which tells the simple story of a young bunny who wishes to gain independence and runaway from home.

On the one hand it's quite a sweet tale as a mother's unconditional love dictates that she will follow him with every outlandish suggestion that the little boy bunny makes, though a modern take makes the mother feel way too possessive as she stifles her young ones quest for adventure.
It's quite controlling behavouir which sees the little bunny admit defeat and the mother happily offering a carrot.

Some context as to the father's fate might go some way into explaining why the mother is so overprotective.
Profile Image for Manybooks.
3,206 reviews104 followers
May 9, 2019
Now unlike many readers, I actually never did experience Margaret Wise Brown's The Runaway Bunny as a young child (because while as a child in Germany I did get Eric Carle and Maurice Sendak picture books read to me in German translation, Margaret Wise Brown's work was unknown to my family). And perhaps this is also one of the reasons why the book (and first encountering The Runaway Bunny as an older adult) actually feels a bit uncomfortable and even a trifle strange with regard to both the author's message and how her presented narrative unfolds.

For while I do appreciate the mother rabbit's all encompassing love for her little son, the fact that she is obviously not in any way willing or able to grant him any kind of distance or freedom, that any attempts by the young bunny rabbit to assert himself, to run away a bit (to get some necessary distance from his mother) are going to be met by the mother rabbit chasing after, capturing her son and once again tying him totally to her and her passion for him, to and for me on a textual and narrational level, this makes The Runaway Bunny read as rather stalkery, like at best a tale of a total helicopter parent who cannot and will not even remotely consider leaving her son alone a bit, who basically has to always be near him, attached to him and know everything about him (and who will also actively thwart any attempts by her child at achieving a bit of distance, privacy and freedom).

And thus, while I do appreciate that the combination of Margaret Wise Brown's text and Clement Hurd's accompanying illustrations are considered magical and a classic (and probably also full of fond childhood memories for many) and albeit that I have indeed found especially Hurd's pictures innovative, imaginative and sweetly detailed, I just cannot get over my personal negative feelings regarding The Runaway Bunny (and especially as an adult who as a college language instructor was in fact once stalked by an obsessive student) that Margaret Wise Brown's printed words (even if they do show and are indeed imbued with much love and feeling) are also possessive, obsessive and really in my opinion smack far too much of over- clinginess on the part of the rabbit mother (and are therefore also just a bit too creepy and with an inherently rather unhealthy and problematic message for my tastes).
Profile Image for Susan.
Author 2 books6 followers
January 5, 2008

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 was cute until we came to the block and she was planning on crossing the street alone. I asked her where she was planning on going and she waved towards the distance(surprisingly towards the right direction) and announced she was going to I-95 and walk to her grandma's.


We read a lot of this book in our house. Children seem to get this book more often than adults on first read. It is a book of great comfort to those who have a restless heart.
Profile Image for Rod Brown.
5,538 reviews197 followers
November 6, 2022
I never thought much of this book the first time I read it, but with this re-read I really like the little battle of wits between the mother rabbit and her son.

And this time I was more struck by things that escaped me before, like the sails on the bunny boat being elongated ears and the connections to Goodnight Moon. I see now that the image of the mother bunny fishing for her runaway bunny recurs as paintings in the other two books in addition to the moon motif. In the Goodnight Moon Extended Universe, it seems that whole book is a joyful bedtime story told by the mother rabbit of this book to her bunny in their den under a tree, and My World: A Companion to Goodnight Moon is a bleak and bitter tale told later as her relationship with the bunny's father crumbles. Wild.

Side note: This is in my old book database as book #1522 with "indifferent" ratings.
Profile Image for Cameron.
82 reviews2 followers
June 22, 2020
A harrowing tale of an overly possessive mother.
Profile Image for Ronyell.
956 reviews320 followers
June 3, 2017

4.5 stars

After I had read Margaret Wise Brown’s popular children’s book “Goodnight Moon,” I wanted to read more of Margaret Wise Brown’s works and I happened to stumbled upon another one of her popular works called “The Runaway Bunny,” along with artwork by Clement Hurd. “The Runaway Bunny” is a truly cute story about the love shared between a parent and child that children will enjoy!

The story starts off with a little bunny wanting to run away from home and when he told his mother about it, his mother just said that she will come running after him, no matter where the little bunny will run off to!

I must admit that I cannot believe that I waited this long to read this classic children’s story about a love shared between a parent and a child! Margaret Wise Brown had done a great job at conveying a mother bunny’s devotion to her child as she is always pledging to follow her child to the ends of the earth, whether the bunny wants to become a rock on a mountain or a sailboat to escape from his mother. I also enjoyed the soothing tone of this book as the story never felt too chaotic or intense when dealing with the little bunny’s desire to run away and I always felt good when the mother bunny tries to comfort her child by telling him that she will always love him no matter what. Clement Hurd’s artwork is truly gorgeous and creative to look at, especially when there are transitions between the black and white artwork and the colorful artwork. I loved the fact that the scenes where we get to see the imaginations of the little bunny running away from home in different and unique ways, is displayed in color as they make the situations stand out much more. My favorite image in the book would be the image of the mother bunny posing as the wind and blowing her child, who is a sailboat at this point, towards the destination she desires.


The reason why I took off half a point from the rating was because even though the book is showing that the mother bunny truly does care for her child by following him to the ends of the earth whenever the little bunny runs away, I cannot help but feel like the mother bunny’s behavior comes off as a bit like a stalker as she would chase her child no matter where he goes. Just like Robert Munsch’s children’s book “Love You Forever,” while it is cute that the mother bunny cares enough for her child to chase him down across the earth, the whole “the mother bunny is going to catch her son no matter what” theme might be unsettling for some readers to handle.

Overall, “The Runaway Bunny” is a cute story about the power of love shared between a parent and their child that many children will enjoy for many years! I would recommend this book to children ages four and up, even though the stalker implications of the mother bunny might unsettle some readers.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog


Profile Image for hedgehog.
216 reviews32 followers
September 4, 2021
My review: This is a book about the ultimate helicopter parent browbeating their child back into codependence. Cool story. Give that child some freaking space, mom, or he's gonna go away to bunny college and go NC. Honestly, this is sort of boring to look at, especially the black-and-white illustrations, and I do not blame my work kiddo for plaintively asking "How many pages is it??" halfway through.

The five(? six?)-year-old's review: "The red eyes are creepy." A few pages later, at the circus page, pointing to each and every animal/clown in the background: "This is creepy. And this is creepy. And this has a weird face."

He is objectively correct. Clement Hurd, go think about what you've done. What the f**k is that monkey.
Profile Image for Joel.
174 reviews22 followers
November 20, 2007
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."
Profile Image for Deanna.
12 reviews
March 4, 2009
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 be getting it for her permanent collection as soon as I can waddle to a bookstore.
Profile Image for Emily.
204 reviews6 followers
September 23, 2012
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.
Profile Image for Jessica .
697 reviews27 followers
November 22, 2008
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.
Profile Image for Michelle.
492 reviews25 followers
April 1, 2022
Another sweet book! My kids first loved it when I read it to them, and now the grandchildren.
Profile Image for Michael.
815 reviews88 followers
August 16, 2015
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 meet her baby bunny halfway, with the ultimate goal of doing what she knows is best, not what the bunny wants on a whim.

My only complaint is that this book, like hmm, 99%? of children's books, features a mother and son. I know fathers love their children, too, and daughters like to see themselves in the story. Come on publishers! In any case, they are bunnies, so I just change the words to father/son, father/daughter for my non-reading children, and convince them that it could be a father or a mother wearing a dress in the penultimate scene. (It will be a sad day when they learn to read and find how biased the literary world truly is.)
Profile Image for booklady.
2,322 reviews65 followers
January 21, 2009
One of my youngest daughter's favorite bunny stories. She had her own bunny that she took to bed with her every night, originally a lilac colored rabbit which quickly turned grey and shabby. So just as teddy bear stories were her sister's special stories, all the bunny books were usually hers. This one is a delightful, sweet tale about an impish bunny who keeps trying to escape mama bunny, but really only wants to be constantly reassured (as we ALL do!) that he will always be loved and mama will always come find him. I saw many similiarities between the runaway bunny and my Shell--apparently so did she! Many fond memories...
As an extra bonus, I later used this book to teach my Sunday School students about God's unfailing love and His constant search for us. It might as well be a children's version of the well-known poem, Hound of Heaven by Francis Thomas, in that the mama bunny will never let the baby bunny wander so far away that her love cannot find him and bring him back.
Profile Image for Walker.
19 reviews
January 26, 2008
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 head.
Profile Image for Chris Wolak.
523 reviews156 followers
February 12, 2022
Is Mother Bunny controlling or being playful with her Little Bunny? I wasn't sure how to read this one and I think it could go either way.

Mother Bunny's last line made me laugh. I thought about the book all day and read it again this evening. The last line made me laugh again. Is this a common adult reaction?

I imagined all the things Mother Bunny could be feeling at the end. Relieved, exhausted, happy, nurturing. Like Goodnight Moon, I enjoyed the illustrations very much. Charming and colorful. I especially enjoy the one where Mother Bunny is fishing with a carrot on the line.
Profile Image for Chantal.
924 reviews125 followers
March 2, 2021
Right from the start I didn't like the storyline. I also didn't like the drawings. Everything was so blend and boring. Could have been so much more, missed change!
Profile Image for Dawn Stowell.
211 reviews10 followers
March 30, 2021
A remedy for restlessness and/or the type of Gypsy-blood, spring fever that is quickened by the wind and urges one to follow a wilder inner compass and throw caution to the four corners of the earth. This is a lovely children's book that reminds us that, "Home is where the heart is."
This book first published in 1942 helped quell my own bi-annual, hard-wired urge to uproot myself and start over somewhere new. Consequently, I read it aloud to both of my wayward and wanderlust children to hopefully innoculate them from the vagaries of hitting the road and to let them know my love was with them like a polestar wherever they decided to journey.

My daughter returned to herself and found her inner sense of home.

My son did not return.

And at this time of year, I acknowledge my son' Gordon Clark's decision to journey to another plane of existence. After years of struggle with mental health issues, he decided to end his incarnation here on earth and not come home. Instead, he chose a farther destination. Yet, my love for him remains, like a polestar. And when he's ready, we will meet again.
Profile Image for La Coccinelle.
2,251 reviews3,562 followers
November 17, 2021
I think I may have read this (or had it read to me) as a child, because it wasn't entirely unfamiliar. But it was still fresh enough for me that I quite enjoyed it.

A little bunny decides (as kids sometimes do) that he's going to run away. But, no matter where he says he's going to run to, his mother always has an answer as to how she's going to keep him in her life because, after all, he is her little bunny.

The illustrations, a mix of black-and-white and full-colour pictures, are charming, showing the rabbits doing all sorts of things, from the anthropomorphized to the fantastical.

I love the ending. It's simple, quick, and oh, so perfect.

Those looking for classic picture books might want to check this one out. There's a reason it's still in print after so many decades!
Profile Image for Hilary "Fox".
2,069 reviews60 followers
September 21, 2018
This book is forever close to my heart.

The Runaway Bunny is still a book that I think about often. Given my love of rabbits growing up, an now, it's a book that my mom bought for me and read to me early on. I was her little bunny, and no matter what she would always be there for me. The book is about the safety of home and the love of a mother. It's about knowing that your family will be there for you no matter what, supporting you, loving you, thinking of you. It's a beautiful story, and a beautiful piece of art.

As other's asked, why did the bunny want to run away?

Kids can be heartless, and we all get like that or at least used to. Essentially, it doesn't matter. In the end he gets his carrot, and knows he's loved. I can't even imagine how many times I traced over the images in this book, and even today I still think about it a lot.

My favorite image was the little bunny being a sailboat, and his mother the wind and the clouds.

My mom's favorite was the little crocus bunny.
Profile Image for Lora.
941 reviews14 followers
June 1, 2014
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 love you-- unconditionally.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,151 reviews

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