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Alfie Runs Away
     

Alfie Runs Away

by Kenneth M. Cadow, Lauren Castillo (Illustrator)
 

Alfie's mother wants to get rid of his favorite red shoes he's outgrown. So Alfie is running away. His mother points out that he might get thirsty on his trip, and she gives him a bottle of nice cold water. And a flashlight, in case it gets dark. Together, they pack everything Alfie might need. But once he is out in the wide world, Alfie discovers that some very

Overview

Alfie's mother wants to get rid of his favorite red shoes he's outgrown. So Alfie is running away. His mother points out that he might get thirsty on his trip, and she gives him a bottle of nice cold water. And a flashlight, in case it gets dark. Together, they pack everything Alfie might need. But once he is out in the wide world, Alfie discovers that some very important things can't be packed in bags.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Cadow debuts with a perceptively written story about a power struggle between a mother and her small son. Alfie's mother proposes to give away his favorite red shoes--they're too small--and he responds by announcing that he's running away. The conflict unfolds in slow motion: Alfie's rebellion doesn't involve yelling or tears, and his mother honors his feelings without backing down. "May I give you a hug?" she asks, as he prepares to leave. "You may let me keep my shoes," says Alfie stiffly. "I will put a hug in your bag," she replies. Castillo's (What Happens on Wednesdays) spreads, comfortingly rendered in muted colors, are just right for Cadow's even-tempered narration. The figures are edged with soft black lines, echoing the sense that Alfie is surrounded by secure boundaries. When Alfie discovers, on his blanket out in the backyard, that his red shoes fit his teddy bear ("Those shoes will never get too small for you," he reassures Buddy Bear), readers will feel the value of the thinking Alfie's done for himself. A fine first outing for Cadow. Ages 4–8. (May)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
When Alfie's mother insists that his favorite red shoes are too small and must be given away, he protests. Donning the shoes and taking his blanket and pillow, Alfie declares that he is running away. But each time he begins to go, his mother reminds him to take something he needs, like a water bottle, a flashlight and batteries, plus a bag to carry it all. Then he adds his Buddy Bear, some books, and even a hug. But as he walks along with the heavy bag, his back and feet hurt. He stops to rest, putting his shoes on Buddy Bear. Not finding the hug in the bag, he is delighted to see his mother coming to give him the hug he wants. He doesn't need to run away; the shoes will always fit Buddy Bear. The everyday details provide a sense of reality to Alfie's misadventure. Castillo uses a fuzzy black charcoal-like line with added colors to create very appealing human characters, effective in their honest, clearly expressed love. Many of the items packed in Alfie's bag appear on the end pages, with only the bright red shoes in color. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—There are several things Alfie doesn't like about living in his household, but when his mom decides to give away his favorite too-small shoes, he's had enough. "I'm going to run away," he declares. His very accommodating mother helps him pack for the journey: flashlight, batteries, water bottle, snacks, pillow, blanket, stuffed bear, and books. When he gets as far as the backyard, however, the pack is so heavy that he empties everything out and has a picnic. And just when Alfie discovers a way to avoid parting with his shoes forever, his mom comes running with a sorely missed hug. Endpapers feature broad outline drawings of Alfie's treasures, color visible only on his beloved red shoes. The mixed-media illustrations are large and heavily outlined in black. They depict a very determined child, hair sticking up, hands on hips, and foot tapping as he makes his ominous announcement. He prances out of the house while Mom calmly looks on, his bravado dampening only when he begins to realize what he has left behind. Youngsters will enjoy hearing the story of Alfie's short-lived adventure along with that of another small runaway in Elissa Haden Guest's Harriet's Had Enough! (Candlewick, 2009).—Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374302023
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
04/27/2010
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
8.31(w) x 9.29(h) x 0.44(d)
Lexile:
AD360L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author


Kenneth M. Cadow is an art teacher who he lives in Norwich, Vermont. Alfie Runs Away is his first picture book. Lauren Castillo has illustrated several books, including That's Papa's Way by Kate Banks. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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