Alfie Runs Away

written by Kenneth M. Cadow

Available at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Local Bookstore


  • CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children's Book Council)
  • 2010 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award
  • A Society of Illustrators Original Art Show Selection

Alfie's mother wants to get rid of his favorite red shoes he's outgrown. So Alfie is running away. His mother points out that he might get thirsty on his trip, and she gives him a bottle of nice cold water. And a flashlight, in case it gets dark. Together, they pack everything Alfie might need. But once he is out in the wide world, Alfie discovers that some very important things can't be packed in bags.
Castillo’s spreads, comfortingly rendered in muted colors, are just right for Cadow’s even-tempered narration. The figures are edged with soft black lines, echoing the sense that Alfie is surrounded by secure boundaries.
— Publishers Weekly
The subdued colors in Castillo’s old-fashioned yet unsentimental illustrations highlight the red shoes and match the reassuring, low-key tone of Cadow’s text.
— The Horn Book Magazine
After his mother tells Alfie to part with a favorite pair of outgrown sneakers, he explodes, announces his departure plans, and assembles his supplies. His gentle, understanding mother helps and even tucks an imaginary hug into his bag. Alone in the backyard, Alfie slowly accepts that his shoes need to go, and in a warm conclusion, finds a new home for them. Young children will easily recognize Alfie’s frustrated feelings of powerlessness, as well as his fears of independence. Castillo’s expressive illustrations sensitively reinforce this tender, reassuring story’s elemental emotions.
— Booklist