Maurice Sendak: 3 Picturebooks

Bumble-ArdyBumble-Ardy by Maurice Sendak

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Layers of awesomeness that push the genre of picturebooks. Children will enjoy the rhymes and the distinctive Sendak illustrations. Adults will enjoy the innuendo. A great final send-off by the single greatest picturebook author/illustrator who ever lived.

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In the Night KitchenIn the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A recent re-reading to my storytime group: this book is amazing. It demonstrates childhood imagination, adult colonization on children’s imagination and still harkens to historical picturebook art history.

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Where the Wild Things AreWhere the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I also read this to my storytime group today. Seriously, this must be the single greatest picturebook of all time. The layers of meaning, of implication, of suggestion are just so dense, so deep and yet so simple that this book appeals to EVERYONE. The three year olds love it (especially gnashing teeth and EAT YOU UP!), the parents love it, the children’s lit scholars love it (the perfectly balanced word to illustration ratio expanding as Max travels to the Wild Things, three full page spreads that bleed off the page and then the same opposing ratio to the final page “it was still hot” with only words gives me shivers). It has been analyzed to death, but it cannot be loved to death.

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