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Itsy Mitsy Runs Away

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NO ONE likes bedtime, and Itsy Mitsy has had quite enough. So tonight's the night she's running away to the perfect place where there are no more bedtimes ever (not even one). But running away isn't as easy as it seems. There's a lot to pack: Mitsy's friendliest dinosaur Mister Roar; a snack for Mister Roar; her dog, Pupcake, to keep the bedtime beasties away from said snack; the list goes on and on. But with a helpful Dad who makes sure Mitsy doesn't leave anything behind--especially not him--Mitsy might want to run away tomorrow night, too.

32 pages, Hardcover

First published May 3, 2011

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Elanna Allen

14 books8 followers

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5 stars
115 (27%)
4 stars
167 (39%)
3 stars
124 (29%)
2 stars
16 (3%)
1 star
3 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 77 reviews
Profile Image for Melissa.
776 reviews66 followers
August 28, 2011
OK, yes, the illustrations are really assured, and I love the color, and even the curlicues all around Mitsy's speech bubbles. And yes, the single dad is great.

Four things: the House-that-Jack-Built parts don't really rhyme or scan, though it's clear they're supposed to be set aside from the rest of the text; I am suspicious of books for children that make jokes at the child character's expense (ie, we know the dad isn't REALLY helping); parents who taunt their children--no matter how unflappable--with scary things (the DARK! the MONSTERS!) give me the willies; and last but not least, Mitsy is ready to provide herself with meals, protection, a roof over her head without missing a beat, but she snaps at mowing the lawn? I know it's supposed to be absurd, but we've already DONE absurd when she picks up the house. (Yes, yes, I'm overthinking this, but the emotional arc of the story doesn't carry me and I'm trying to figure out why.)

I need to go find my copy of A Baby Sister for Frances.
Profile Image for Abigail.
7,087 reviews181 followers
January 11, 2019
A young girl with a distaste for bedtime decides to run away, rather than submit to being tucked in. Her father, wise in his ways, encourages her to take more and more with her, from her favorite dinosaur, to scare away night-time monsters, to a snack for said dinosaur. Eventually, having taken everything and the house with her, the girl is tired out, and falls asleep...

Itsy Mitsy Runs Away is the third picture-book I have read from author/illustrator Elanna Allen, and of the three, it is the one that I enjoyed most. The tale here is structured in a cumulative way, like the classic "The House That Jack Built," and would make for an entertaining read-aloud, I believe. Itsy Mitsy felt a little bratty (a common characteristic of Allen's heroines, it seems), but I appreciated the way her father encouraged her in her make-believe (I presume?) games. The artwork is colorful and cute, with a cartoon style that makes a lot of sense, given its creator's background in animation. Recommended to anyone looking for fun bedtime fare.
Profile Image for Tasha.
4,117 reviews103 followers
July 14, 2011
Itsy Mitsy is a little girl who hates bedtime. So much that she decides to run away. Her Dad reminds her that she will need to pack, starting with a friend to make sure she’s not alone. Mitsy packs her toy dinosaur, Mister Roar. Then Dad reminds Mitsy that she will need food for her dinosaur. So she packs a snack for him. Dad remarks that Mister Roar is not the only one who likes bananas, in fact they could attract the Bedtime Beasties! So Mitsy packs Puptart, her ferocious toy dog. She packs a lamp for light on her way, but can’t get the outlet out of the wall for power. So she does the only thing she can…She packs the entire house. Now what to do with her Dad?

This very funny picture book does not take the expected story line at all. Children will be amazed when Mitzi just keeps on packing, all the way to packing her house. The sudden change to a book that is fantasy not reality, makes for a great twist that will take readers by complete surprise. The writing is witty and gracefully written. It reads aloud beautifully.

Allen’s art is a large part of the success of the book. Mitzi is depicted in her shiny green alligator/monster suit with orange goggles. The home around them done in blues and greys fades nicely to the background, but offers details. Then the fantastic parts of the story are done in wild yellows and greens, adding to the twist of the tale.

A very funny, successful bedtime romp that takes readers on an unexpected journey. Appropriate for ages 4-6.
Profile Image for Jaime Ann Sanborn.
413 reviews11 followers
July 17, 2011
Itsy Mitsy is the CUTEST storybook child ever drawn. If CindyLou Who and Max,King of All Wild Things grew up and had a child together- Itsy Mitsy would be her.

This palm-sized, dinosaur-costumed, rebel has decided that bedtime is NOT for her and that she must run away. However, her broken-hearted father can't bear to let her go without at least helping her pack! She needs all the right gear to protect her from the Bedtime Beasties! (These Beasties look very similar to some well-known monsters that live on a famous street known for its sunny days!)

As the story begins to layer itself, the prose forms a pattern that little ones will enjoy. They will also love this tiny little heroine with super-human strength and spunky independence as she prepares to run away.

With lime green and orange as the dominating colors on the palest blue backdrop, Allen's characters pop off the page. This is a beautiful book that is super fun to read!

Recommended for ages 3-7.

73 reviews2 followers
July 25, 2011

Itsy Mitsy is a spunky little girl “who really, really, for real (I‘m not even joking) …” does not like bedtime. When she decides to run away, her clever dad reminds her of all the things she’ll need. First her suitcase and then her wagon are overflowing with all the paraphernalia of childhood. How’s she going to light the lamp to keep away the beasties? Large, colorful and humorous illustrations against pale backgrounds bring focus to the characters and a ghostliness to the beasties. Using a House that Jack Built type narrative, this would make a perfect storytime addition. Highly recommended.

Profile Image for Frankie Gray.
7 reviews
October 30, 2016
This one has been a bedtime staple for about six weeks now. Mitsy is the little girl who runs away with her favorite dinosaur, Mr. Roar, and her dog, Puptart, because she hates bedtime. Mitsy's dad pretends to support her independence, but as the pages turn we see it's a long con to get Mitsy to bring him along. You can look at it as a manipulative parent, or a silly game played by a loving father. I'll take the latter. By the end of the book, as Dad tucks Mitsy in, she seems to be in on the joke when she suggests they run away again tomorrow.

This is Frankie's favorite book to-date, and the one with the most words and narrative. She has 90 percent of it memorized, but prefers to listen. I skim over the part about Mitsy hating bedtime because Frankie (almost 2) loooves bedtime and I'm afraid of anything that could jeopardize that fact. I mean, the kid voluntarily hops down off the couch with her blanket, hustles to crawl into bed and giggles as she tells us goodnight. That won't last forever, but I'll make darn sure it's not my fault that it ends.

-Frankie's dad
July 20, 2020
If I were running away today I'd pack Elana Allen's ITSY MITSY RUNS AWAY in my bag.

I find Mitsy irresistible. She is pocket-sized but packed with spunk, and delightful in her dinosaur costume complete with goggles. This fiercely fearless child plays a silly game of “running away from bedtime” with her perceptive, play-along father. As she packs more and more in her bag, Mitsy grows both weary and wise.

ITSY MITSY RUNS AWAY is an especially applicable read for these #stayhome days.

(You know your child best and if a story encouraging a dislike of bedtime or running away is a bad idea. For those children and adults who will appreciate the cumulative silliness of it all, read on!)
Profile Image for Jaidab.
1,568 reviews6 followers
August 20, 2021
I really dislike books that stack what a person is doing— character did this, so she could have that, so her dog would blank; and then the next page: the alligator snapped, and the character did this, so she could have that, so her dog would blank, etc.
HOWEVER, the reason I gave it 3 stars is because the typography and the illustrations are master level.
Profile Image for Danielle Joseph.
118 reviews
January 7, 2020
There are too many bumbling, child-like fathers in children's literature today, so thank goodness for Itsy Mitsy's dad! He is able to parent like a pro, validating her feelings of dislike towards bedtime while also kindly teaching her a lesson in consequence when she decides to run away.
Profile Image for Stephanie .
609 reviews2 followers
May 17, 2022
Okay, so I did work in Youth Services a looong time ago and I used this book for story time more than two times and today re-read it again to a co-worker complete with voices and inflection.

Love the whole darn thing and will keep it in mind when I need a pick me up.
Profile Image for Skari.
104 reviews2 followers
June 29, 2017
I loved this book so much I looked to see what else the author had done, I was disappointed to see there isn't a whole series of Itsy Mitsy books.
Profile Image for Lynn  A. Davidson.
5,810 reviews24 followers
May 3, 2018
This is a funny cumulative story about a little girl who didn't like bedtime so she decided to run away. The problem was there were so many things she couldn't go without.
Profile Image for Melanie.
11 reviews1 follower
January 24, 2019
Really enjoyed this book...from the clever story idea of a threatening to run away and her father's responses, to the illustrations.
Profile Image for Sadina Shawver.
451 reviews1 follower
June 28, 2021
Such adorable illustrations. And Itsy Mitsy wasn't so precocious that she came off as a brat. It was fun and silly. Reminiscent of The Day I Ran Away by Niner.
Profile Image for Christen.
29 reviews
July 3, 2011
Itsy Mitsy does not like bedtime. So, she decides to run away – and her father helps her pack! He humorously reminds her of the things she will need, until she’s packed him right up with the house. Her stuffed animals and toys take on a life of their own, crawling out of her suitcase and wagon, spinning a larger than life cumulative tale that is a delight to read over again. Colorful illustrations humorously embellish the tale as the tiny girl carries away piles of items that are twice her size – including the house! Allen’s work with Nickelodeon and Playhouse Disney is evident in Mitsy’s nighttime monsters, which children will recognize and relate to. 3-6 years.
Profile Image for Christen.
473 reviews
August 11, 2011
Itsy Mitsy does not like bedtime. So, she decides to run away – and her father helps her pack! He humorously reminds her of the things she will need, until she’s packed him right up with the house. Her stuffed animals and toys take on a life of their own, crawling out of her suitcase and wagon, spinning a larger than life cumulative tale that is a delight to read over again. Colorful illustrations humorously embellish the tale as the tiny girl carries away piles of items that are twice her size – including the house! Allen’s work with Nickelodeon and Playhouse Disney is evident in Mitsy’s nighttime monsters, which children will recognize and relate to.
Profile Image for Hailee.
104 reviews11 followers
October 20, 2011
I loved this picture book! The illustrations are darling and the premise is one that is familiar to so many children. I remember my mom helping me pack my pink plastic suitcase after I declared I was running away because I didn't want to clean my room. Even with such a familiar topic, the book still remained fresh and equally hartwarming (while still being quite funny)! I especially loved the opening pages: "Have you met Itsy Mitsy? She's a little girl who really, really, for real (I'm not even joking) doesn't like...BEDTIME!"

Darling! Can't wait until Librarians Choice storytime to be able to she this one with my preschoolers.
Profile Image for Joy.
587 reviews28 followers
June 7, 2011
This book is absolutely charming. Itsy Mitsy is a very determined little girl- determined not to go to bed and she will even run away to avoid it. Fortunately, Itsy Mitsy has a clever, loving father who makes sure she has everything she needs to run away, especially himself. I loved the adorable illustrations and the fun, repetitive text, and I loved her friendliest dinosaur, Mister Roar. My daughter enjoyed this story and asked to read it again and again which I think is the highest compliment a book can receive.
Profile Image for The Library Lady.
3,572 reviews516 followers
July 14, 2011
The crafty parent who loads the "I'm running away" kid with so much luggage that they can't go anywhere has been done many, many times before--I recall it from one of the "Ramona" books among other places. This is cute enough--perhaps even a little TOO cute. I am trying to figure out who Mitsy resembles so strongly--I am thinking some animated cartoon of the past--but I found her a little TOO adorable for my saccharine meter to tolerate her. This will have a fan club, but I'm not really a member.
Profile Image for Tabatha.
36 reviews9 followers
September 1, 2016
I loved this book. The illustrations are fantastic and the story is great. It was hard to keep the toddlers paying attention, not enough drama for them perhaps, but the large blocked text on some pages of the story really got them excited again after a lull of plot. The repetition of supplies, with adding things she brings each time, really reminded me of a Dr. Seuss book, so it was great for Narrative Skills, but parts of the book were hard to read to the toddlers. I would use this book again, but perhaps at the beginning of the storytime, before all calm is lost :).
Profile Image for Mary N.
141 reviews
January 31, 2012
It's a cute story of a little (preschool) girl who uses her imagination during bedtime. Because Mitsy doesn't like bedtime, she tells her daddy that she is running away and, with daddy's help, she imagines herself packing all the things she will need during her time away from home - until she falls asleep. Some parts of the story remind a little of the "Where the Wild Things Are". The problem that I have with this story is that I just can't imagine a little preschooler saying "I am running away".
Profile Image for Elisabeth.
1,836 reviews24 followers
June 8, 2011
Oh my - this might be my favorite book of the year so far! It is definitely my favorite cumulative story after the Napping House. An energetic, nimble story with such likable characters (Itsy Mitsy and her dad make a good team). Cute, but not cutesy. I LOVE the line drawings throughout and I love the color palette. It is obvious (in a good way) that she studied animation. I can't think anything that I don't love about this book!
Profile Image for Tif.
155 reviews5 followers
December 3, 2011
This book first caught my attention because the little heroine reminded me of a pint-sized Clara from The Guild. But it truly happened to be a very cute and hilarious story of a girl who tried to run away to avoid bedtimes with the aid of her father. The first page alone made me burst out laughing.
Profile Image for Aiyana.
481 reviews
April 9, 2014
Another favorite of E., 4 years old, who also doesn't like bedtime. The book is the adorably illustrated tale of a little girl who decides to run away from bedtime... and ends up packing up her entire life to take with her! I think the story-telling might be a little hard for a young child to follow, but the building repetitions (in the style of "the house that Jack built") create a great momentum, and the entire thing is full of wonderful child-logic that will amuse any parent!
Profile Image for Emma Apple.
Author 24 books18 followers
July 22, 2015
This book is just beautiful. It has a sassy little main character who, like every child who ever existed as far as I know, doesn’t want to go to bed. As the story goes on, the father does a little bit of that reverse psychology, you know what I mean parents, and it gets more and more absurd (as bedtime often does). I just loved this book, my kids loved it, it was funny and fun to read and the illustrations are just beautiful, the color palette is soothing and bold at the same time too.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 77 reviews

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