Monday, November 8, 2010

The Runaway Bunny

What do you say to a 4-year-old who has been diagnosed with a critical, perhaps terminal illness? What sort of reassurance do you offer? How far out on the limb do you go?

At that age, reassurance takes on the mantel of love. Words help, touch helps, doing an activity together helps. We work with whatever tools we have.

For young children, reading a book together may help reassure them that they do not have to go through their ordeal alone. A book is a story—nothing more, nothing less. Its category means nothing—it is only the story that holds meaning.

First published in 1942 and never out of print, “The Runaway Bunny” by Margaret Wise Brown is a tender tale which serves to reassure young children that, come what may, they will never be deserted by those steadfast significant grownups in their lives.