cover image The Runaway Mummy: A Petrifying Parody

The Runaway Mummy: A Petrifying Parody

Michael Rex, . . Putnam, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-399-25203-7

Rex, who parodied Goodnight Moon with the creepy Goodnight Goon , pokes monstrous fun at another Margaret Wise Brown/Clement Hurd collaboration, The Runaway Bunny . Instead of the cozy call-and-response of Brown's rabbits, Rex crafts an amusing, mock-threatening exchange between a green-faced mummy and her son, who is threatening to run away. “ 'If you run away,' said Mother Mummy, 'I will get you! For you are my rotten little mummy!' ” Though their conversation is neither cute nor fuzzy, the images reveal mutual affection. When the child mummy says he “will become a gargoyle and hide on a freezing mountaintop,” his mother responds that she “will turn into a dragon and breathe fire on you to keep you warm!” A double spread, modeled on Hurd's wordless paintings, shows the dragon heating the grinning gargoyle, who says, “That's a little hot!” Only when the little mummy threatens to become a soccer and piano–playing “little boy” rabbit (he and his family are shown in a familiar green room with a red carpet) does his mother express horror. Rex fondly and cleverly imitates the original, echoing its tenderness even as he mocks it. Ages 3–5. (Aug.)