The Runaway Pea

The Runaway Pea
Words by Kjartan Poskitt
Illustrated by Alex Willmore
Published 2019 (UK) & 2021 (US)

Did you hear a ping? Splat? Splash?
Maybe it’s a runaway pea!
We get to follow the rhythmically bouncing story of a little bouncing pea who wants to explore, see more, and ends up on the floor. Mishap after mishap happens but the pea keeps going and going.

There’s humor (what kid doesn’t think it’s funny to give a pea a butt?), gorgeous rhyme and rhythm, and an ending that involves compost. Add in the completely silly art, and it’s a laugh a page.

The illustrations do a great job of elevating the humor. The personification of the fruits and vegetables is fantastic and I loved where you see somethings peeking out from under the fridge. It’s got a little bit of tension because you’re pretty sure those are eyes, but are they good or bad? And again, kids love seeing a pea with a butt.

The one thing I forgot to look at before reading it the first time was the fact that it had been originally printed in the UK. Rhyming “force” with “sauce” tripped me up the first reading but knowing it’s there makes it read smoothly even for an American English speaker.

The Runaway Pea is one of the funniest books I’ve read this year and between the rhyme and the bright illustrations this is one that can be shared with anyone down to 3 or even 2 year olds who like sitting for stories.

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