Nothing can separate us from unconditional love.
Name: The Runaway Bunny
Author: Margaret Wise Brown
Illustrator: Clement Hurd
Publisher: Harper Collins
Written for Ages: 3-7
Summary: A little bunny was toying with the idea of running away, and he teased his mother with the notion. She listened to each place where he planned to flee…a stream, a mountain, a garden, the sky, and other remote locations. For every location, the mother rabbit developed her own plan to follow him because he was her child. After numerous attempts to find a place where his mother would not go, the little rabbit finally decided to just stay home because that was the best place to be.
Scripture Connection: Children’s Bible stories often focus on the stories with exciting action such as Creation, Noah’s Ark, David and Goliath, and the birth of Jesus. But childhood is when the inner fears can start. What a good time to introduce the Psalms! David, who fought wild animals and enormous Goliath, also had fears. Psalm 139 is a perfect introductory psalm for children. In it, they are introduced to David’s thoughts about the expansiveness of God. He states that he cannot go high enough or low enough to be away from God, nor can the day or night hide him from his Father. Children can learn that God made them in their mother’s womb, and He will never let them out of His sight.
Theological Connection: David started his reign as king as a fairly young man. His roller coaster relationship with former king Saul may have left him rattled, especially since Saul’s son Jonathan was David’s best friend. Though David had killed Goliath and received praise through the streets for doing so, the job of leading a country was daunting. A young man who had grown up tending sheep was now supposed to tend an entire nation. But David was led by God. Early in his royal days, he depended on God’s constant presence and direction, and he was successful in his leadership because he trusted God. Nowhere could David go that his heavenly father would not care for him.
Justice Connection: Nowadays, children are experiencing all manner of adult-level trials. Poverty, immigration, abuse, and broken homes are not just adult problems. They affect children in deep, long-lasting ways. Hearing that God is with them all the time, no matter where they are or what their circumstance, can bring new life, hope, and future to a broken child.
Faith Talk (God Talk):
- What did the little bunny want to do?
- What did the mother bunny keep telling him?
- Was there anywhere the bunny could go that his mother wouldn’t follow him?
- Who made the whole world?
- Are there any places in the world that you could hide that God couldn’t find you?
Parenting Connection: The primary gift we can give children is security. Regardless of parenting situations, home location, or economic status, children need to feel secure. Research shows that children who have a strong sense of security at home will thrive in other social settings. The little bunny in this story is testing the security of his relationship with his mother. When he heard her say over and over that she would follow him wherever he went, he knew he was safe. Our children need to hear, see, and feel that they are loved no matter what mistakes they make or success they accomplish. They are special and valuable for being themselves. God loves us for who we are, no matter where we are, and that is the goal of parenting for which we must strive.
You can buy a copy at Amazon or check out your local library.