The back cover of "Goodnight Moon" has a picture of this book, "The Runaway Bunny," another of Margaret Wise Brown's classics. Bud enjoys Goodnight Moon, so I thought I'd give this one a try...and I just don't get it.
Here's the plot: there's a bunny who wants to run away. He tells his mother, and his mother says, "I will run after you." The bunny threatens to become a fish and swim away from her; whereupon the mother threatens to become a fisherman. This goes on for the remainder of the book: the kid wants to become a rock; the mother becomes a mountain climber, etc.
First of all, why does this bunny want to run away? Brown never explains that, but one can only assume that it's because of the mother bunny's overbearing nature. Imagine growing up in that household.
"Mom, I want to go to join the school's baseball team."
"Well, if you do, I'll turn into A-Rod and make your team lose so that you never travel away for post-season games."
"Mom, I want to go to college in California."
"Well, if you do, I'll join the Department of Homeland Security and make air travel restrictions so rigid that you'd never want to get on the plane to leave!"
Second, someone should teach this mother a thing or two about compassion. On the first page of the book, the little bunny says, "I am running away." If Bud said that to me, I would ask, "why do you want to run away?" and then try to talk the issue out. Instead, the mother gets right on the defensive and says "If you run away, I will run after you." The mother then gets on the phone with her friends and declares, "if that little bunny goes to Indochina, I want a rabbit hidin' in a bowl of rice waitin' to pop a cap in his ass."
At the end of the book, the mother says, "Don't you ever leave me...'cause I'd find you...."