Polly’s Running Away Book

Poor Polly. Her best friend is boasting about going to Disneyland, her mother is expecting another baby, her little sister’s taste for Teletubbies is getting beyond a joke and basically she just hates everything about her life. Especially “brocerly”.

So, she decides to run away, but before she can do that she needs to save some money because 76p and half a packet of chicken tikka crisps aren’t going to get her very far.

Irritating siblings, falling out with best friends, confusing parents (who are, of course, mean and selfish) and the desire that all of us have to run away are examined through Frances Thomas’s dead-pan, tell-it-as-it-is style, all of which is superbly illustrated by Sally Gardner’s scrapbook collage.

Polly’s Running Away Book is an absolute delight, and tunes in to those niggly childhood dilemmas that are certainly familiar to children everywhere. But the real joy of this book (apart from the fact that it is very, very pink and girlie) is that adults will love it too, and will probably find it quite hard to let go once as they are swept along by the nostalgia of what it means to be a small child.