Tuesday, September 9, 2014

MAURICE SENDAK: We Are All in the Dumps with Jack and Guy...


We are all in the dumps
For diamonds are thumps
The kittens are gone to St. Paul's!
The baby is bit
The moon's in a fit
And the houses are built
Without walls
Jack and Guy
Went out in the Rye
And they found a little boy
With one black eye
Come says Jack let's knock
Him on the head
No says Guy
Let's buy him some bread
You buy one loaf
And I'll buy two
And we'll bring him up
As other folk do

From School Library Journal

Grade 2 Up-Sendak is back, bolder than ever, as he looks out to the problems of today's world. He combines two little-known and unrelated nursery rhymes, taking advantage of their absence of story to interpret them with a wealth of detail and social commentary. In so doing, his visual images invite readers to become co-conspirators in the creation of the tale. From the dust jacket's ragged and newspaper-wrapped children, depicted within a monstrous mouth that readers will discover is the moon, to the very last page, one must search for clues to bring meaning to the enigmatic text. (Most are in the form of newspaper headlines). The homeless children and kittens are watched over by the moon, which seems to insist that the youngsters take care of one another. The moon itself is transformed into a giant cat to save the kittens and a baby from the rats who steal them. Unlike Max from Where the Wild Things Are (HarperCollins, 1988), however, their return is not to safety and a warm supper, but to the uncertainties of the street. Overall, the images refer to poverty, war, crime, pollution, famine, inflation, AIDS, unemployment, and other current evils. The illustrations themselves are not frightening, but they remind readers of horrific things in the real world. The somewhat muted and subdued palette is brightened with bursts of red sky and a stark white cat, which give an explosive energy to the story. The clarity of the art and of the composition of the pages are deceptively simple. The rhythms of the street, of rap music, are recognizable in the interplay between the rhymes and characters' ballooned comments. This is a potent, evocative book, but Sendak respects children's ability to deal with powerful and potentially controversial issues and ideas. We Are All in the Dumps will lead to discussion, speculation, and a variety of interpretations, all of which are appropriate for this type of allegory. This headline says it all: "Leaner Times, Meaner Times...Children Triumph."-Kay E. Vandergrift, School of Communication, Information and Library Studies, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.



Tuesday, April 15, 2014


I mentioned on Twitter that my family once had a Chinchilla named Chi-Chi and the author sent me this book. The review will be upcoming because my 22 year old son has decided to read the book and review it here for me, complete with a photo of his four year old self and his beloved pet chinchilla Chi-Chi.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

HAD TO SHARE!! This is a FuNnY and ChArMiNg blog post. BOOK RIOT


*Dispite this blogger crucifying me for using the term "boy friendly" when talking about certain Childrens books, I will leave this post up.