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ITSY MITSY RUNS AWAY by Elanna Allen Kirkus Star


by Elanna Allen & illustrated by Elanna Allen

Age Range: 2 - 6

Pub Date: May 3rd, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4424-0671-1
Publisher: Atheneum

Itsy Mitsy may be teeny tiny, but she has BIG issues with bedtime. Donning a dinosaur playsuit and driving goggles and straddling her trusty tricycle, she declares definitively, “No more bedtime. I’m gone.” Each time she heads for the door, though, Dad asks a simple question that complicates her runaway plan, leading her to gather up more and more stuff to take along. These necessities (food for Mister Roar the dinosaur, Puptart the guard dog, a lamp so the doggy can see) quickly accumulate, piling up into a catchy chorus that repeats throughout. "She packed a lamp / to light up her pup / to bark at the beasts / to guard the snack / that she had packed / for friendliest dinosaur, / Mister Roar." Each additional item offers another opportunity for readers to giddily recite Mitsy’s litany. Whether on a lap or in storytime, children will feel the pull of loose rhyme, pleasing momentum and mounting ridiculousness. Soon Mitsy’s got the whole house on her little shoulders and Dad teetering on top. Varied layouts, full of effective flourishes (ornate Victorian speech bubbles, round and rectangular inset scenes, reappearing imaginary bedtime beasties) highlight Mitsy’s panache and her father’s gentle manipulations. The irresistible tug of clever language combines with visual pizzazz to make this runaway story a runaway hit. (Picture book. 2-6)