The Runaway

Children - Picture Book
40 Pages
Reviewed on 10/14/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

A writer before she could even write, children’s book author Marianne Cooper would draw pictures as a child and record her stories on a portable recorder. She was hooked and aspired to pen children’s books ever since.
Marianne gets her book ideas from everyday life, her children, and even her pets. Her current picture book, The Runaway, is a precious book that gently addresses the sometimes-hopeless feeling of anxiety and was inspired by a child who experiences this. She hopes her young readers will come away from her book understanding that anxiety comes in all shapes and forms and can happen to people of all ages.
Marianne believes a good picture book is one that captures the reader’s attention from the very beginning, and whose storytelling is visually supported by its illustrations. She wants to impart a lesson that, while running away from problems is never the answer, discussion and imagining them a different way can help. She hopes her words make a difference to children and that her illustrations bring them joy.
When she’s not writing and illustrating thought-provoking picture books for children, Marianne enjoys reading, painting, and hanging out with her husband and four children. She lives with her family and two dogs, three cats, two guinea pigs and a handful of hermit crabs, in Virginia. The Runaway is her debut children’s book.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

As the saying goes, the grass on the other side of the fence always looks greener. But is it? For this sad, frustrated, even scared little boy, life away from home has to be better than at home. His parents fight, his sister pesters him, and he just doesn’t know which way to turn. So, he does what young children often try to do: he runs away from home. Only this runaway ends up on a magical journey through a dark forest full of nighttime creatures. It’s a journey to find himself, to discover an inner peace that will help him carry on. When he runs away, can he really get away fast enough and far enough?

Marianne Cooper’s picture book story, The Runaway, is a touching story about seeking inner peace and a sense of belonging, a safe place where he can grow up secure in the knowledge that he is loved. Written in simple language so young readers can follow along and work on their own reading skills, the plot develops gradually with great attention to detail. The illustrations are magical and whimsical and certainly drive the story forward. The story’s simplicity will appeal to young readers as they relate to the little boy’s angst over his home life. As he struggles with the magical elements of his running away, he starts to re-think what he’s left behind. His reasoning is certainly in tune with young minds as he starts to wonder if his home really is as bad as he first thought. These powerful messages about the strength of love and the everlasting family bond are beautifully told and illustrated.