Leonore Klein with illustrations by Sunny B. Warner ~ Alfred A. Knopf, 1963
At the wee young age of three and three quarters, I doubt my boy has yet reached the point where he feels the urge to flee, but this story still resonates with his fear of leaving home without me and his dad in tow. I know nothing about this illustrator and even less about the writer, but the pictures are darling and the story is true to the way little boys feel when they get to be a certain age. So independent and sure of themselves while still very much being little boys who need a cuddle every now and then.
You see, John thinks running away from home might be a good idea. One by one though, he begins to realize the things he will be without. He decides to pack food, his best friend, his favorite toys, until finally...
"I'm almost ready to run away from home," said John. Then, suddenly, John remembered something very important. "If we run away from home," said John, "We'll need someone to tell us a story at night. Mother," called John, "will you run away from home with us?"
Mom graciously accepts the offer, but when John realizes they can't leave without Dad and Dad is at work so they can't ask him to join them, John decides the journey can wait for another day. A simple story but brimming with the sweetness of little boys and the joy of being at home, eating toast and jam on the front porch in the rain.