By Jennifer Larue Hguet & Red Nose Studio
Schwartz & Wade Books, $17.99, 40 pages
Are you totally fed up with your baby sister who gets all the attention even though all she ever does is cry? When you look at your big brother, do you see a lazy slug with ear buds on? And what about mom and dad? “Do your homework! Eat your peas!” You know what to do, right? Run away! What do you mean? You’ve never run away from home before and you don’t know how to do it? Well, if you really want the juicy details, all you need is the new book The Beginner’s Guide to Running Away from Home, by Jennifer Larue Huget.
The book’s illustrations feature hand-built three-dimensional sets constructed by Chris Sickels of Red Nose Studio. If you’ve seen the movie Coraline, you can get a good idea of the book’s overall stylistic look. New York Times Best Illustrated artist Sickels spent 15 months creating the art to accompany the hilarious text in Huget’s offbeat guide to evaluating your place in your own home and family. Readers with hawk-like sharp eyes will see how Sickels incorporated found objects into his work – candy wrappers, fuse boxes, magazines, erasers and spoon handles. Each page is a photograph of the handcrafted set.
There are just a few things you must do in order to run away. You definitely need to pack, take the time to say goodbye to your pets, leave a note (try to make your parents cry) and make a big exit (stop your feet and make lots of noise). Once you’ve left, you will learn lots of new things. You might even realize how much you miss being home. It is true that there really is no place like home. Read this fun book to find out – and then decide for yourself.
Reviewed by Kathryn Franklin