cover image Come Home, Angus

Come Home, Angus

Patrick Downes, illus. by Boris Kulikov. Orchard, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-545-59768-5

Running away seems like a good idea to preschool-age Angus, until he strays too far in YA author Downes's (Fell of Dark) first picture book. Angus starts the day by lashing out. "In this house, being angry doesn't let you be rude," his mother cautions, so Angus stuffs a few belongings in a backpack and opens the front door. When his mother says, "I'll miss you," Angus answers, "No you won't," and storms off, ending up alone on a bench in an overwhelming, Times Square%E2%80%93like space. Kulikov (W Is for Webster) conveys the immensity of Angus's mood by showing the boy towering over multistory buildings, but he diminishes in size as he abandons his security. Observant readers will spot Angus's mother trailing him at a distance%E2%80%94Downes and Kulikov essentially suggest that a child can walk out, and that an attentive parent will notice, following behind with a sack lunch. Long ago, The Runaway Bunny acknowledged this fantasy in more abstract terms, but adults will want to talk through the dangers that Angus negotiates. Ages 3%E2%80%935. Author's agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. Illustrator's agent: Wanda Nowak. (July)