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The Runaway Dinner [Paperback]

Allan Ahlberg , Bruce Ingman

List Price: CDN$ 8.00
Price: CDN$ 7.60 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

Aug. 12 2008
Talk about fast food! A hilarious, high-speed tale from the inimitable Allan Ahlberg — catch it if you can!

What happens if someone's dinner decides that, well, it doesn't want to be eaten? For a hungry little boy named Banjo and a savory sausage named Melvin, it's a plight that can only result in a breathless escape — and what a chase it is! Off speeds the sturdy sausage — leading fork, knife, and plate, chair and table, a handful of fries with various French names, and three fat little peas — out the door, down the street, and around the park, with poor Banjo taking up the rear. Will the famished boy ever catch them? And what (gulp) happens to Melvin if he does? Allan Ahlberg is in his element with this fast and funny tale, while Bruce Ingman's kid-friendly illustrations add visual comedy to the chase.

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The Runaway Dinner + The Pencil + Previously
Price For All Three: CDN$ 22.80

  • The Pencil CDN$ 7.60
  • Previously CDN$ 7.60

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (Aug. 12 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763638935
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763638931
  • Product Dimensions: 28.3 x 0.5 x 21.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #142,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 3–When Banjo Cannon sits down to dinner, his sausage (named Melvin) jumps off the plate and runs away. The kitchen furniture, cutlery, peas, French fries, carrots, the famished boy, and his parents follow out the door in Gingerbread Man fashion. The chase continues down the street and through a park where a duck eats Paul the pea, two fries sail away in a toy boat, and a picnicking family grabs the fork and knife. Just when Banjo catches up with Melvin, his mom yells, Don't eat that, it's been on the ground! The surreal adventures are relayed in a droll, conversational style with casual asides (Now here's the exciting part, the unbelievable part–though it is all true). Ingman's acrylic illustrations, done in muted tones, combine detailed panoramic scenes and fully fleshed-out characters with pen-and-ink outline sketches. The naive drawings of the stick-legged sausage and his fellow runaways will elicit giggles. This fast-paced yarn is full of kooky charm.–Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Funny, touching, ridiculous and dramatic - a treat from start to finish." The Guardian" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  31 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky and great fun to read Nov. 30 2006
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
The people in my family are great fans of the "spoken" narrative style of Richard Scarry. This book is just as fun to read outloud (very important from a parent's perspective) and the illustrations are charming and clever. I like a children's book with a sense of humor. My girls, age 2 and 4, are tickled with this one too. A word of caution: 2 of the 3 peas in the story are consumed by fowl, so perhaps children who are a very concerned about death would not be an appropriate audience.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and lively. March 29 2009
By Rebecca - Published on Amazon.com
This book is wonderful. It is a book that needs to be read out loud to children with much dramatics and suspense. It isn't a book you could simply buy and hand off to the six year old but read it to them and they are hooked.

My three year old liked it too although my six year old adores it (and now reads it herself). Definitely not for the under 3 set. I actually enjoy reading it to them.

Some children's books are so predictable. Open up your child's perspective and experience with something a little different.

We love this book.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Melvin is a hit! June 7 2007
By Kiwi Mama - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Our nearly 3 year old son, just loves this book. The author makes each character simply come to life on every page. The illustrations are colourful and fun. The narrative is a little different, but keeps our son thoroughly engaged right 'til the end!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars See the Sausage Run Feb. 11 2009
By tvtv3 - Published on Amazon.com
I've always like the story of "The Gingerbread Man" though I've always been upset by how snobbish the Gingerbread Man is and was glad that in the end he got eaten by the fox. Allan Ahlberg has updated the story of the Gingerbread Man in his story THE RUNAWAY DINNER. In THE RUNAWAY DINNER the piece of food that comes to life and runs away isn't a freshly baked cookie, but is instead a freshly cooked sausage. But it's not just the sausage that comes to life. Besides the sausage an entire dinner jumps up and runs away, including baby carrots, three peas, and several French fries, as well as the boy's plate, utensils, condiments, table, and chair. They run out of the house and into the street and are chased by a dog, a cat, the boy, and the boy's parents. Along the way different things happen to the different characters, for instance a little old lady sits on the chair, the baby carrots escape by hiding under a paper bag, the dog chases the cat up a tree, and several items are eaten!

THE RUNAWAY DINNER is written in a real-aloud style and makes a great book to read to young children. Bruce Ingman's illustrations are delightful and add more fun to the story (there's one scene where the reader is asked to stop and look around for a missing pea).

THE RUNAWAY DINNER is aimed at young readers who are either reluctant or struggling. The story is sure to catch their imagination, but it's so entertaining that even adults might find themselves becoming enraptured by the story. I know I did! Recommended reading for children from 2 years-1st grade, but fun reading for people of all ages.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy Preschool Teacher June 16 2007
By Willa - Published on Amazon.com
I work at a preschool that also has a pre-k class. The kids LOVED this book! I also really enjoyed it, I had ordered this copy for myself, but I think that we're going to need one at school too. It is fun, funny, and charming. The children in both classes are still talking about it days later. In general I'm not a fan of newer children's books, I would prefer to read The Runaway Bunny, but this book is destined to be a classic. The illistrations are colorful and engaging, and the story is told in a way that children can easily understand because it is how many of them speak and think (it is a little hard to get into the rythm at first). Even the kids who don't really enjoy books loved this one! It is a must have.

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