I have spent many hours on line and in book stores researching for the best books for young ones (babies mainly)--reading books, reading what others have said, thinking about the books, and I am very happy to have aquired a copy of "The Runaway Bunny". Wow this book was published in 1942, but I did not have the priveledge of knowing it, nor did I have a copy for my own sons. What a loss! I like this one even better than "Goodnight Moon", which we did own. It is clever, playful, loving and creative. Little bunny announces that he is running away. He doesn't say "from you" or "to [someplace]"; his statement seems to be a provacative one to find out what his mother will say. I think her reply is perfect: "If you run away, I will run after you. FOR YOU ARE MY LITTLE BUNNY." Mom is doing the right thing for the right reason (I read those one-and two-star haters' reviews, and I don't get that reasoning at all): she lets the bunny know that she will make sure that she will always make sure he is safe, because he is her little bunny." (ie, I love you, so I won't let anything happen to you)
Almost every day I am seeing things on the internet about things that happened to little children because their parent was not watching them close enough (playing on facebook instead of watching a toddler take a bath), or actually doing harm to the child out of their own twisted mental illness. I think mother bunny has a healthy attitude and is not stalking her baby--she always comes to him. She doesn't yank him roughly out of his play. For example, when he decides to become a fish in the stream, she becomes a fisher to catch him with a carrot (NOT a hook) and a net. If he joins the circus and flys away on the flying trapeze, she will not stay safely at home, but will become a tightrope walker and walk in the air to him. This is what real parents do, they will risk anything to make sure their child is safe. That's what I read in this book.
I especially like the next part when the bunny decides to become a little boy and run into a house, because the mommy bunny "will become his mother and catch you in my arms and hug you." Then the next page (each two pages with text and line drawings is followed by a colorful two page illustration) shows the bunny "boy" safely sitting on the bunny mother's lap as she rocks in a rocking chair in a room reminiscent of "Good Night Moon" room. So bunny decides he might as well stay home and be her little bunny, mom says "have a carrot", and the last lovely two page color illustration shows the bunnies in their cozy home under a tree near a garden.
My little grandson bunny will be born next month, and I am still puzzling out which books to get (within my budget), but no hesitation on this one. Recommend.