Friday, September 11, 2009

The Runaway Dinner by Allan Ahlberg and Bruce Ingman

After Paula Brandt's presentation last Wednesday I have decided that I should really be paying more attention to the dust jackets, end covers and general design of books. That having been said, one of the first things that I noticed about this book, aside from the amusing title, was that it was unusually long horizontally. I liked this because it seemed unusual. The end papers have silly drawings on them of food playing and a dog chasing a cat up a tree. Both of these are involved in the story, but you wouldn't really know that until you read the story. Something interesting thing about the book itself is that the story begins before the title page and continues just after it. Another interesting thing about the book is that the actual story is organized as a poem rather than in a regular paragraph. Also, the font size changes. The illustrations themselves are simplistic yet detailed, one of my favorite parts about them is that they look as though they were hand painted.

The story itself was very humorous and I believe that was probably the point of it. Meaning that I think this story was just for entertainment's sake rather than having a specific moral. That isn't a bad thing though, sometimes its nice to just read a book for reading's sake. The library recommends this book for kids of ages 4 to 8 and I think that sounds pretty reasonable. I think that elementary students will find this story amusing. This would also be a good book for students who are still learning to read because there are a lot of repeating words, "Well then, of course, as you might expect, the fork ran after the sausage, the knife ran after the fork, the plate ran after the knife, the little table and the little chair ran after the plate, and Banjo, that hungry little boy, ran after all of them." More than that though, this is just a really fun story about a little boy named Banjo whose dinner ran away so he had to go and chase it and the adventure that ensues.

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