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The Runaway Dinner Paperback – 4 Jun 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Walker Books Ltd; New Ed edition (4 Jun. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1406305499
  • ISBN-13: 978-1406305494
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 0.4 x 28.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 68,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Funny, touching, ridiculous and dramatic - a treat from start to finish. The Guardian

About the Author

Allan Ahlberg has written nearly 140 titles for children, including Everybody was a Baby Once, The Pencil, The Runaway Dinner and such classics as The Jolly Postman series and Peepo. His books have won numerous awards: the Kurt Maschler Award in 1986, the Blue Peter Award in 2001 and the Children's Book Award in 2002. Allan lives in Bath with his family.


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a fantastic story of a little boy called Banjo, who every day, rain or shine, summer or winter, has a sausage for his dinner. On this particular day, Melvin, the sausage, decides he doesn't want to be eaten. He gets up and runs away, pursued by the rest of his dinner, his cutlery, the furniture and finally Banjo and his parents.

Each of the items in the story is given a name, and as Melvin makes his escape we move through an increasingly surreal and fantastic landscape in which the doings of all the other items are also narrated.

The illustrations are quite unusual, and in themselves provide a lot of the impact and the talking points of the story. My kids, aged 8, 4 and 15 months love this story and never tire of hearing it. The greatest thing about it, in my opinion is the fact that it is interesting for adults as well because it never dumbs down. The use of language is interesting and even poetic in places and it has a lovely rhythm and narrative pace which gives it the shape of an old fashioned classic, rather like the gingerbread man, from which it undoubtedly took its inspiration. Inspired work.
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By Brian R. Martin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 Mar. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this after another book ('The Pencil') by the same author was very well received by my two grandchildren, aged 2 and 4. This has a similar theme, where inanimate objects take on a life of their own. While perhaps not quite as good as the 'The Pencil', they children still liked it very much. At this age they seem to really appreciate the comic absurdity of the action.
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Format: Paperback
This book is utterly foolish, completely absurd, and as a result my boys (2 and 5) think its absolutely fantastic. Ahlberg's books range from really-quite-sensible to brilliantly-delivered lunacy and this is at the latter end of the spectrum. A sausage called Melvin jumps off the plate and runs away followed by the cutlery and crockery, table and chair, not to mention a little crowd of peas, carrots and French fries (called Francois, Fifi etc.). The carrots escape in a paper bag, two of the three peas meet untimely ends, and most of the French fries sit down to enjoy the cricket in the park. The chair gets sat on, the sausaage befriends the cricket ball in the long grass, and Banjo the boy goes home hungry for pudding.....

The illustrations are good - with a bright fun feel that perfectly matches the story - and the whole package is a great delivery of a quirky tale.

And if you enjoy this, then follow it up with Half a Pig or The Cat who got carried away, by the same author.
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My almost three year old son loves this book. I bought him "The Pencil" earlier but he has shown a preference for this one. He loves that the sausage (yes, Melvin is his name), peas, fries (which he always corrects me by calling them chips) have names. The story is fun to read and moves at a pace, everybody chasing everybody else. He especially loves that the sole surviving pea hides away (up the tree) and he finds him everytime! I would recommend this book to toddlers of a similar age and even older children. It gets a laugh everytime.

Lisa
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By S Riaz HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Aug. 2010
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This is such a strange story and yet my kids love it! A little boy (called Banjo) has a sausage for his dinner - then the dinner runs away and there is a race around the park. It is totally surreal, imaginative and brilliant. My daughter loves to spot the runaway pea! Fantastic book. It just works.
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This book is meant for a broad imagination. When the little boy sits to eat his dinner his food goes running! Starting from the sausage..followed by the peas and the French fries who were too many to name but of course have French names right up to his table and chair. He runs after them, his parents run after him, the cat runs and the neighbour's dog chases along. They run to the park and some of the fries stop to watch cricket. All in it is an adventure for the little boy and his food (not forgetting his cutlery too!)..
It's a hilarious book for children. My kids love the story. The laugh along with it.
I love Allan Ahlberg books. Very entertaining!
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A little boy named Banjo has a sausage every day for his dinner. One day the sausage jumps up and runs away! Closely followed by all the other items on the table, as well and the table and chair! A hot pursuit ensues and there is much fun and laughter along the way.

My children (aged 2.5 and 5.5) both love this story and have asked for it time and again. Much hilarity to be had at bedtime (particularly as one of the carrots has my Christian name!!). Engaging story and great pictures.
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This story is a good idea and my four year old thinks it's hilarious but I think it's a bit too drawn out and could do with some further editing.For that reason I sometimes find it a bit of a drag to read.
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