Synopses & Reviews
What kid hasn't wanted to make their parents feel sorry for treating him badly?
And how better to accomplish this than to run away? Here's a guide showing how, from what to pack (gum--then you won't have to brush your teeth) to how to survive (don't think about your cozy bed). Ultimately, though, readers will see that there really is no place like home. Like Judith Viorst's Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, here's a spot-on portrait of a kid who's had it.
And like Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, it's also a journey inside a creative kid's imagination: that special place where parents aren't allowed without permission.
"As he did in Here Comes the Garbage Barge!, artist Chris Sickels (aka Red Nose Studio) models, then photographs gothic figurines in elaborately handcrafted sets, which draw most of the attention in this sardonic guide to leaving home. The boy narrator has a perpetually anxious look and a shock of red hair that leaps off his head like a flame, as he walks readers through the steps of running away. Huget's (The Best Birthday Party Ever) knowing tone ('You're too grown-up for a stuffed animal, but take your favorite one anyway. That will show your parents you mean business') pairs smartly with Sickels's anti-cute characters. The author nails the story's pacing, dwelling luxuriously on the boy's resentment, planning, and departure ('See if you can work in a little sob somewhere'), then depicting him at loose ends once he's out in the world. His mother's heartfelt welcome-back embrace is a moment of genuine emotion. Meanwhile, Sickels's wildly inventive miniature sets and props are likely to make readers want to stay home so they can pore over the pages. Ages 4 8. Illustrator's agent: Magnet Reps. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
JENNIFER LARUE HUGET is the author of three previous picture books for Schwartz & Wade, and will have more to come. She is a blogger for the Washington Post.