Tag Archives: childhood

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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Sing-Song by Christina Rossetti

Sing-SongSing-Song by Christina Rossetti

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Such delightfully depressing poems! Dead babies, motherless children, babyless mothers, love, life, dead birds–this book has it all!

It is actually a well-designed collection with careful illustrations. It definitely presents some fun literary analyses.

It is worth checking out.

Fun:

Mix a pancake,
Stir a pancake,
Pop it in the pan;
Fry the pancake;
Toss the pancake,
Catch it if you can.

A more common trope:

Why did baby die,
Making Father sigh,
Mother cry?

Flowers, that bloom to die,
Make no reply
Of “why?”
But bow and die

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Countess Kate by Charlotte Mary Yonge

Countess KateCountess Kate by Charlotte Mary Yonge
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While clearly this is an instruction book for proper young ladies ways to God and good behavior, it is also a pretty good story. I actually enjoyed the plot and I enjoyed Kate as a character. The book did not feel particularly preach-y until the end. I would definitely have some things to say about the author’s treatment and interpretations of childhood and women, but I think that as it is a product of its time, that discussions should prove to be rather engaging.

Not at all a bad read if you come across a copy, though it is out of print/POD.

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Stitches by David Small

StitchesStitches by David Small
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This heart-wrenching graphic novel memoirs deserves your attention. David Small is a fantastic illustrator and looking into his childhood through the perspective of illustrative art from his memory as a child is fantastic. The images capture what words cannot–those pictures and thoughts that run through one’s mind as a child.

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