Bunny Spoof: The Runaway Mummy: A Petrifying Parody by Michael Rex
Once there was a little mummy who wanted to run away.
"If you run away," said Mother Mummy, "I will get you! For you are my rotten little mummy!"
If this opening sounds familiar, you're right. With the opening queued to Margaret Wise Brown's classic The Runaway Bunny, we are off and running in Michael Rex's latest irreverent--but respectful--spoof, The Runaway Mummy: A Petrifying Parody. (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2009)
Like his predecessor, Little Mummy conjures up all the ways he can assert his independence and foil Mother Mummy's attempts to capture him for bedtime.
"If you try to get me," said Little Mummy, "I will turn into a serpent that lurks at the bottom of the sea."
"If you turn into a serpent," said Mother Mummy, "I will become a sea monster that will wrap around you and never let go."
"Not so tight, Mommy!"
As he wiggle-giggles himself out of sea monster mommy's many arms, Little Mummy insists that he will turn himself into a gargoyle, a ravenous jungle plant, a huge night-haunting bat, and a humongous trampling beast--whatever it takes to elude his mommy's shape-changing affection, even when she promises to become a terrible tickle monster to bring him in.
But then Little Mummy hits upon the perfect ruse: he threatens to become a model little boy--a stereotypical soccer-ball-kicking little bunny in blue shorts and white golf tee:
"Then I'll become a little boy who takes karate lessons and learns to play the piano!"
"NO!" cried Mother Mummy, "Not a little boy! That would be horrible!"
"But it will be perfect! My mommy will drive me to Spanish lessons and violin recitals and chess matches! My daddy will coach T-ball and soccer and basketball!"
"Stop! That is too much!" cried Mother Mummy. "You will never have time to be rotten! If you become a little boy with a mommy who drives you all over and a daddy who coaches all your teams, then I would have to use my most savage, awful, terrible bloodcurdling shriek and frighten them all away."
Amidst alarming mutual visions of Mother Mummy as a suburban bunny chauffeuring her little bunny in a red minivan, all this imagining makes Little Mummy tired, so tired that in the final double-page spread, we see Mother Mummy gently tucking him into his own little sarcophagus at last:
"You can let go now, Mommy," he says sleepily.
Following up on last year's spoof of Margaret Wise Brown's classic Goodnight Moon, Rex's witty Goodnight Goon: A Petrifying Parody, (see my review here), in his brand-new book Michael Rex lovingly sets loose his mommy mummy and little mummy, their wrappings flapping askew, as the chase is on, through pages modeled on illustrator Clement Hurd's cozy settings, a parody which in this case is the sincerest form of flattery. Rex has himself a ball in this second Petrifying Parody and children familiar with his venerable source will do the same, especially during the upcoming scary season.