The Runaway Pea Washed Away

The Runaway Pea Washed Away
Kjartan Poskitt and Alex Willmore
Simon & Schuster Children’s Books

The small green spherical runaway vegetable has already achieved VIPea status so far as this reviewer is concerned thanks to his cracking first outing in The Runaway Pea. Now he returns in a second delicious escapade starring himself but equally for me, his co-adventurer, the little spider that he encounters and proceeds to rescue having met same after being washed down the plug-hole and into the drain along with all the slime and mess. This, surprisingly, doesn’t spoil his fun; indeed, pea positively relishes his surroundings. It’s when he’s so doing that he comes upon the spider all of a panic that’s doing anything but enjoy the lack of a spot on which to stand its eight legs.


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However, the rescue effort quickly turns into an exciting experience – for one of the two anyhow – when they emerge into a stream. As they drift along, optimistic pea wants to take the opportunity to make some new friends; spider on the other hand, proffers several pieces of sage advice that do nothing to dampen pea’s spirits.

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Will the two ever see dry land and safety again?

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Actually it’s a case of yes and no, for the tale, rather like that water down the plug-hole, twists around perfectly to a wonderful conclusion that leaves things wide open for yet more adventures.


Bring it on say I and so will countless young listeners who will doubtless be delighted by pea’s unsquashable joie de vivre. Author Kjartan Poskitt and illustrator Alex Willmore have dished up another cracking rhyming tale with wonderful characters so cleverly given real personalities despite comprising mere spheres and (in the arachnid’s case) the odd few single lines. HapPEA reading.

The Runaway Pea

The Runaway Pea
Kjartan Poskitt and Alex Willmore
Simon & Schuster

We’ve all heard of the runaway gingerbread man and the runaway pancake but now they’ve got some opposition in the exciting escapade stakes – from a fleeing pea no less.
Said little green seed decides to up and leave the plate before tea-time and so he does, despite taunts from fellow veggies over a minor mishap with a splodge of sauce.

Although the little pea might have escaped from becoming tea for a human there are still plenty of hazards to contend with: the dog’s drinking bowl,

a goldfish tank, a mousetrap, a toaster, a tumble dryer and an iron to be precise.
Having managed to avoid the dog’s mouth, been squirted unceremoniously from Adele’s tank, catapulted onto a shelf, blown into a toaster and pinged out again,

buffeted round inside a revolving drum and almost squished flat ‘neath a steam iron, our pea finds himself rolling under a fridge.

Exhausted, in this dark spot he comes upon several shrivelled shapes, which he hears, were also runaways,

They advise the newcomer against remaining to get wrinkly and stinky like them as well as telling him that there’s no point returning to his original plate, leaving the little fellow to fall fast asleep.

And that’s when something amazing happens to him that might just be the start of something truly eye-poppingly astonishing …

Poskitt’s zany narrative rolls merrily along in faultless rhyme and makes for a smashing read aloud, all the more so thanks to Alex Willmore’s dramatic, action-packed art. His scenes of near disaster will likely have your little ones rolling around in laughter at the pea’s plight and clapping in delight at the hapPEA ending.