The Day I Ran Away
Written by Holly Niner
Illustrated by Isabella Ongaro
What do you do when your purple shirt is dirty, your favorite cereal is gone, and a tantrum gets you banished to your bedroom?
You run away… to a pop-up tent in the yard… but just until dinner.
The Day I Ran Away is a spirited yet soothing story for days when you feel like running away, and a sweet reminder that home is where the hugs (and cookies) are.
- Mom’s Choice Award Gold Winner
- Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval
Niner’s tale, told entirely in dialogue at bedtime, will be familiar to most toddlers, though not every set of parents is so indulgent and understanding. The typeface and color are different for each speaker (Grace’s is, of course, purple). Ongaro’s illustrations, drawn by hand but colored electronically, alternate between the evening bedroom and the events of the day…The bright and cheery images add needed detail to the spare tale.
From Children’s Literature
Youngsters will enjoy this tale because Grace’s kid-sized sass does not erode their family’s underlying strengths. Actually, caregiver trainers or parenting instructors can use this title to launch discussion on how active listening and flexible parameters underscore accountability in a kid-friendly way. Ages 4 to 8.
From Foreword Reviews
When Grace’s day turns from bad to worse, she decides to leave it all behind, in Holly L. Niner’s sweetly uplifting The Day I Ran Away. Alternating voices and fonts in adult orange and youthful purple relate Grace’s experiences with dramatic humor, and fun, colorful illustrations from Isabella Ongaro convey the wide range of emotions that allow Grace’s day to go from better to best with a little help from Mom and Dad.
From PW 2017 Sneak Previews
Flashlight packs up with The Day I Ran Away by Holly Niner, illus. by Isabella Ongaro, featuring a girl who recounts her tough day at bedtime, recalling how she had a tantrum and ran away.
From Literary Classics Book Awards
Sweet joy, warm fuzzies and happy thoughts abound in this fanciful book about a day in the life of a little girl who has experienced an abundance of frustrations one after the other…Look out Alexander and the Terrible Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, there’s a new book in town and it’s earned a very special place in our hearts and on our book shelf.
From Midwest Book Review
While Dad tucks her in, a little girl named Grace calmly recounts her day — which was anything but calm. She had a tantrum (because of some injustices involving a purple shirt and breakfast cereal) and was banished to her bedroom before deciding to run away. Understanding that kids have ups and downs, Grace’s mom wisely gave her daughter the space and time she needed to reach her own decision to return home to the open arms of her parents. In The Day I Ran Away, author and speech therapist Holly Niner amusingly captures Grace’s mutable moods and childlike logic. Enhanced with the warm, humorous digital paintings of Isabella Ongaro that offer fun details to keep little listeners busy, “The Day I Ran Away” will allow children ages 5 to 7 to compare the bedtime and daytime scenes and try to figure out how Grace got that purple paw-print on her cheek — and when it got washed away. They can mimic Grace’s facial expressions or copy her poses for some soothing bedtime yoga. And of course, they can create a safe place to run away to when the injustices of Pre-K existence become too much to bear. A pop-up tent in the yard and the haven beneath the dining room table are excellent run-away destinations, as long as they come home for dinner! Original, deftly crafted, beautifully illustrated, and utterly charming from beginning to end, The Day I Ran Away is very highly recommended for family, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.
From Edwards Book Club
The Day I Ran Away will be sure to keep kids engaged and will teach them the importance of following rules and listening to parents. And, hopefully, they will also learn that there really is no place like home. Full of bright and cheerful illustrations with big and bold words, this picture book is sure to be a winner for children between the ages of 4 and 6.
From Story Monsters Online
This fun little story pulls at big heart strings, and creates a wistful desire to return to a time when my very courageous little boy determined he too, needed broader living conditions. And just like Grace’s mom, I helped him pack and sent him on his way. I’m sure this endearing tale will resound in great chuckles from most parents who’ve had the same experience with their little ones at one time or another. I love the illustrations of Isabella Ongaro as she depicts the patient way Daddy lets Grace unravel her tale, revealing the great relationship they share.
From Storybook Reviews
This is a cute story with a bit of a lesson for both children and parents. All children (actually people of all ages) will get upset at one time or another and this story shows that if you handle it properly and have taught your children well that it will all work out. I like how the mother handled the situation – giving her daughter some freedom and letting her think she was running away from home without actually leaving the yard. In a small way she turned it into an adventure and having taught her daughter some lessons earlier in her life about crossing the street, she was able to keep her close. It was really ingenious!
From Book Talk
While Dad tucks her in, a little girl named Grace calmly recounts her day—which was anything but calm.
From 1st Grade Reading
Two words: sweet and adorable. Both the story and the illustrations. Told mostly through dialogue, the words are sparse but meaningful. The illustrations give a lot of meaning to the girl’s actions… The story shows how a little solitude can be a good thing, especially if we have a loving family to return to, or one that would like to run away with you.
From Some Books I Like
You need to check out this book… Everything was going wrong for Grace, so she decided to run away, but what do you do when you aren’t allowed to cross the street? Grace tells her dad all about her day and running away while he tucks her into bed at night. He listens intently, commenting at just the right times. It’s precious.
From Beth Laipple, Kindergarten teacher at Canterbury Lower School
Thank YOU for coming in and speaking to us. We are big fans! The book is just delightful…and what a wonderful family it depicts – firm, but loving parents who are on the same team and imaginative, feisty Grace!
From Denise Phillips, owner of Gathering Volumes Bookstore
As a bookstore owner I was lucky to get a copy of this book prior to its release date. As a mom I found this to be a lovely book about a child discovering her independence. I love that throughout the story the mom plays along with her daughter running away and that the daughter finds her day enjoyable and wants to “run away” again the next day. It is both a great story for a child as they will see the young girl calm down as the day progresses and also a great story for a parent as they will see a mom find a creative way to encourage her stubborn child
From Mom’s Choice Awards Blog interview with Holly Niner
“…as parents we often struggle with the balance of too much or too little discipline. If our goal is for our children to be able to make good choices when we aren’t there to make the choice for them, then we need to sometimes give them a safe space to explore their decisions. Speaking from experience, that time when Grace was outside “running away” also served to give Mom some needed space to gain perspective on the day!” Read the full interview.
About the Creators
Holly Niner is the author of No More Noisy Nights illustrated by Guy Wolek, and The Day I Ran Away illustrated by Isabella Ongaro. She has had numerous stories published in children’s magazines, and her previous picture books were award winners. Mr. Worry: A Story about OCD, received the 2005 IBBY Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities Award, and I Can’t Stop: A Story about Tourette Syndrome, was the winner of the 2006 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Award and a 2005 Bank Street College of Education Best Book. Holly lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Isabella Ongaro is the illustrator of The Day I Ran Away, written by Holly Niner. She studied at the Art Institute in Naples and the Nemo Academy of Digital Arts in Florence. She has done character design, and illustrated for the educational and fashion markets. Isabella lives in Paris, France, and this is her fourth picture book. Learn more about Isabella on her personal website.
ISBN: HC 9781936261895/ ePDF 9780936261901/ EPUB 9781936261918/ KF8 978936261925
Print Length: 32 Full Color Pages
Publication Date: April 2017
Age Group: 4-8
Lexile Measure: 300L
Word Count: 428
Activity Guides & More
THEMES: Emotions, anger, running away, parent-child, communication skills, bedtime, yoga