Toddler Grace tells her dad about the rough day she had.
“ ‘Guess what, Daddy.’ / ‘What?’ / ‘Today I ran away.’ / ‘You did? Why?’ ” In this Q-and-A format, she relates the events of the day. First, her favorite purple shirt’s dirty, so she has to wear a white one. Daddy understands. Then at breakfast, her favorite cereal’s “all gone,” but that’s not all. Those problems spark a tantrum, which causes Mom to send her to her room. In making Mom an I’m-sorry card, Grace decides she’ll also make her white shirt purple with markers. Mom takes away her markers, and that’s when Grace decides to run away. She announces her intentions at lunch; Mom obligingly fixes it to go. Grace can’t run far (not allowed to cross the street), but Mom suggests a tent in the yard. Spaghetti dinner calls Grace, her dog, and her stuffed rabbit home, but she doesn’t pack up; she’s had so much fun, she’s running away tomorrow, too. Niner’s tale, told entirely in dialogue at bedtime, will be familiar to most toddlers, though not every set of parents is so indulgent and understanding. The typeface and color are different for each speaker (Grace’s is, of course, purple). Ongaro’s illustrations, drawn by hand but colored electronically, alternate between the evening bedroom and the events of the day, depicting Grace and her parents as white. The bright and cheery images add needed detail to the spare tale.
Sweet but not extraordinary, which just may be the point. (Picture book. 2-6)