A declaration to run away from home leads to an awfully cozy escape.
Kate’s sister, Hannah, has shut the door on Kate’s toe, and Mom is giving flute lessons to neighborhood kids. What more reason would one need to run away? So, determined, Kate gathers duct tape and cardboard and proceeds to construct a little home under the lilacs in the neighbor’s yard. And because Mango the cat might miss her sister and her mother, she’ll build them additional rooms as well. Soon enough Hannah, Mom, and even one of Mom’s flute students show up on Kate’s cardboard doorstep, happy to live under the lilacs, “At least for a little while.” Goodale keeps the text short and sweet from the initial line, “Sometimes I want to run away,” to the penultimate declarative sentence, “Yes, I think I could stay here, under the lilacs.” And some canny young readers may well pierce the veil around Kate’s protestations that it is Mango who will be missing Hannah and Mom. The illustrations combine print, drawing, and digital techniques, making for a truly attractive mélange that evinces early spring days, green fields, and blue skies swept with clouds. After reading this book, who wouldn’t want to try their own hand at a little independence? Kate, Hannah, and Mom have pale skin and straight, dark hair; Mom’s flute student has brown skin and puffy brown hair.
Running away never looked so good. (Picture book. 3-6)