Before she could read my daughter knew every word of The Runaway Bunny. At that age, our daily routine often included a nature walk together — through the woods in our backyard. “I will be a tree that you come home to,” was her favorite part, and it still brings back wonderful memories!
Here, with “The Runaway Bunny” there is no passage of time to show us that the mother bunny would always love her baby. We are shown not told that she would through examples in terms an imaginative child would understand and appreciate. In the here and now, their relationship will proceed to be stronger and healthier than it was before. Even when we (the reader) never can figure out why the baby bunny just decided he wanted to run away that day in the beginning of the story (maybe he was upset, wanted attention, didn’t feel loved by his mom for some reason, had an adventurous streak in him) we still know that the bond between them is for real.
The Runaway Bunny
Margaret Wise Brown
No preview available - 1942
I read The Runaway Bunny to my son when he was two, and he cried and said, “I don’t want to runaway from my mama!” Separation anxiety way too acute at that point, so I put it away for a year and read it again when he was three. He was much more receptive to the story that time.
In I Will Love You Forever, we have our mother in this book who is still a kind, gentle, nurturing woman to her son. She sings to him and reminds him since he was first held in her arms, that no matter what, she will be his baby and she will love him. Okay, that is not bad, after all it is important in early days of infancy for that mother and child to have a close bonding with each other, and the mother shows it by singing a special song to her son and rocking him. You can’t argue its a sweet and touching scene that will make you tear up and she always repeats this mantra to her son….at night. Every night while he is asleep. However, when you continue reading “I Love You Forever” and compared it to “The Runaway Bunny” book, you kinda note how very different these two are. And it seems as if the Mother Rabbit is more grounded to reality than the human mother. Who, even when the child is a grown adult and living on his own, will she still drive out in the middle of the night carrying a ladder and will still crawl into his bedroom at night and rock him to sleep.