Happy Birthday: Margaret Wise Brown

May 23, 2012 The Runaway Bunny 0

If you’re not familiar with the work of Margaret Wise Brown, your childhood was the poorer for it.  Brown wrote the now-classic titles Goodnight Moon, The Runaway Bunny, as well as The Little Fur Family, A Home for a Bunny and nearly one hundred other titles.

Margaret Brown was born in 1910, and died of an embolism (blood clot) following surgery in 1952.  She worked first as a teacher, then as an editor, while continuing to write children’s books.  When she passed away, she left over 70 unpublished works, a few of which have been published posthumously.

Brown had a genius for conveying feeling and story in a few short, simple, perfectly chosen words.  Generations of children, including both me and my daughter, have been lulled to sleep by the soft, rhythmic ending of Goodnight Moon:

Goodnight comb,
Goodnight brush,
Goodnight nobody,
Goodnight mush,
And goodnight to the old lady whispering ‘hush’.

Goodnight stars,
Goodnight air,
Goodnight noises everywhere.”

The Runaway Bunny was another favorite in our house, with its gentle story about a little bunny who wants to run away, but whose loving mother promises always to find him again: 

If you run after me,” said the little bunny, “I will become a fish in a trout stream and I will swim away from you.” 

“If you become a fish in a trout stream,” said his mother, “I will become a fisherman and I will fish for you.”

Clement Hurd illustrated both books, and the pictures in Goodnight Moon contain a number of references to The Runaway Bunny, as well as things for children to look for (try to find the mouse in every picture of the room.)  I highly recommend both books for children age 1-6, though they may resonate best with those in the 2-4 age range.

Source: Wikipedia

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