The Runaway Pea Washed Away by Kjartan Poskitt, illustrated by Alex Willmore

The Runaway Pea Washed Away by Kjartan Poskitt, illustrated by Alex Willmore. Aladdin, 2022. 9781534490161

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review): 4

Format: Hardcover picture book

What did you like about the book? Runaway Pea, unfortunately, ends up down the drain after washing up! He has a wonderful time going through the sewer and while there picks up a panicked spider who isn’t so sure things will turn out ok. That duck? Oh, perfectly friendly and not looking for a snack says the pea! NO, insists the spider in large typeface. Thus, the cautious spider protects the overly optimistic pea from danger until he is delivered to land. The pea finds a ride home and, well, then gets washed down the drain again! The rhymes in this story add to its joy and don’t feel forced. The illustrations are colorful, filling some pages with images like giant frog eyes to make the reader feel like they are looking from the pea’s perspective. Though the faces are simple, they express the joy, fear, and anxiety of the trip. The sound effects appear in bold type and are placed strategically to give a feel for the movement and sound as it happens. 

Anything you didn’t like about it? This is second of the The Runaway Pea books so some might want to read the first one, but there isn’t anything that would prevent someone picking up this one first. Some might find the rhyming repetitive but I think it adds to the story.                                                       

To whom would you recommend this book? This book would be good for public library shelves for families with 2 – 4 year olds as well as a great storytime book 

Who should buy this book? Public libraries

Where would you shelve it ? Picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? This is a fun, quick read that would be good for a read aloud so yes. 

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Clare Dombrowski, Amesbury Public Library, Amesbury, MA

Date of review: July 23, 2022

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