Leap Back Home to Me by Lauren Thompson and illustrated by Matthew Cordell (Margaret K. McElderry Books, April 2011) reminded me of Margaret Wise Brown’s Runaway Bunny: a young one goes out on his own, but always must come back home to his mama.
The difference is that in Leap Back Home to Me, the mother frog encourages the child to set off on his own:
“Leapfrog over the sun. Leapfrog as high as you please.
Leapfrog out to the farthest stars. When you leap home, here I’ll be.”
Watercolor (I think) illustrations give the book a soft and calm feel, to match the comforting story.
(Nominated for the 2011 Cybils awards by Tobin Harper)