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The Runaway Bunny

(Over the Moon #1)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  67,977 ratings  ·  947 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 24th 2017 by HarperCollins (first published June 5th 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
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Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  67,977 ratings  ·  947 reviews

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Sep 14, 2007 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 him ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
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.

Jul 30, 2008 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
May 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those looking for a beautifully illustrated and imaginative bedtime story
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 ...more
Jan 22, 2008 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.
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 auth ...more

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,
Dec 31, 2007 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
Jun 21, 2020 rated it did not like it
A harrowing tale of an overly possessive mother.
Sep 23, 2012 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 20, 2007 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 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: harper-read
This one was adorable!
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
A sweet book that shows a mother's love towards her wanabe runaway.

Illustrations by Clement Hurd are precious as well.

4 stars
Jul 31, 2007 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
Jan 26, 2008 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 h ...more
Nov 04, 2008 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.
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 bea
Villain E
Apr 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Um. Here's another one where I'm reading a different book than everyone else.

You know how people think the song "I'll be watching you" by the Police is romantic? Even though it's about a stalker? This is the picture book equivilent.

A little boy bunny threatens to run away from home and his mother says she will follow him. He suggests magical ways to escape or hide, and she responds. "I will become a flower." "I will become a gardner and find you." I think the little boy is trying to run away be
Colton W
Dec 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
I love these beautiful pictures. And bunnies are cute.
John Yelverton
May 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
Yeah, I'm not sure if this book is to show a child that his mother is always there for him, or that she's clingy and will never let him go. If I'm confused, imagine how confused the child will be.
Jul 26, 2019 added it
Shelves: rabbits, childrens
A little bunny describes the ways in which he will try to run and hide from his mother. Mom bunny says, "No can do, I love you so much that I'll always find you."

Many of her responses are cute, like, "If you become a bird and fly away, I'll be a tree that you can come home to."

Some are weird like, "If you become a flower in a garden, I will become a gardener and I WILL FIND YOU." (Caps my own).

And some are off-putting like, "If you become a little boat and sail away from me, I'll become the w
Cathy Craig
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-for-james
James LOVED to read this book. 😀
Sep 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, childrens, mfa
I enjoyed this one more, probably because it has a story. A little bunny tries to think of ways to run away and its mother assures him she will be there for him at every turn. The concept sounds creepy, and it sure felt creepy at the beginning but as the story progressed, I felt the creepiness factor wavered. It read to me like no matter where the little bunny goes or does, they can always count on their mom to be there for them. Also, the juxtaposition of the colored illustrations with the blac ...more
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
Jan 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all parents of little ones
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 ...more
Ethan & Isaac
Apr 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sweet
5 stars for the color pages and 3 stars for the black and white ones. I only want to look at the color pages.
Jun 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
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 lo ...more
RLL22018 Danielle Razo
As an adult, I did not enjoy the book as much as I would have as a kid. The book is not consistent in terms of illustration (going from black and white to color), which threw me off. The book makes sense and follows the pattern of "If you do A, I'll do B". I enjoyed that there were cute animals and some color to catch kids' attention.

The illustrations, in the book I read, were overly detailed, which I think kids would not like. I think kids would like the story in general, but might me overthro
Jan 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture

I was just rereading this prior to giving it to my sister for her soon-to-be-born baby, and remembered that I was troubled as a child by the bunny son's determination to run away. Didn't it hurt his mother's feelings that he kept wanting to get away from her?

Kids are self-centered little jerks, I guess.

My favorite illustration was the one where the baby bunny is a bird flying and his mother is a tree, like a dryad.
Akemi G.
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kid-lit, read-fiction
Which kid doesn't dream of running away? And of becoming something else? It doesn't necessarily mean he is unhappy at his home; on the contrary, he may dare to dream precisely because he is basically happy.

I love the old-fashioned pictures in which the bunny is, say, a fish in the river, yet still a bunny.

The one I read (75 year anniversary edition) comes with an essay about how this book was written and received. Worth a read.
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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

Other books in the series

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

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