With just 27 words, the inimitable Ruth Krauss created a charming little universe.
Now Maurice Sendak has turned her bears into a troupe of players in a slapstick comedy starring a familiar boy in a wolf suit.
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Ruth Krauss, a member of the experimental Writer’s Laboratory at the Bank Street School in New York City in the 1940s, imaginatively used humor and invented words to create some of the very first books for children that highlighted a child’s inner life. She collaborated with some of the greatest illustrators in children’s literature, including Maurice Sendak and her husband, Crockett Johnson.
In addition to Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak's books include Kenny's Window, Very Far Away, The Sign on Rosie's Door, Nutshell Library (consisting of Chicken Soup with Rice, Alligators All Around, One Was Johnny, and Pierre), Higglety Pigglety Pop! or There Must Be More to Life, In the Night Kitchen, Outside Over There, We Are All in the Dumps with Jack and Guy, and Bumble-Ardy.
He received the 1964 Caldecott Medal for Where the Wild Things Are; the 1970 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration; the 1983 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, given by the American Library Association in recognition of his entire body of work; and a 1996 National Medal of Arts in recognition of his contribution to the arts in America. In 2003, he received the first Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, an international prize for children's literature established by the Swedish government.From Booklist:
PreS-K. Before Sendak's early collaborations with Ruth Krauss, she wrote a simple picture book called Bears (1948), using only 26 words that were illustrated in black and brown by Phyllis Rowand. Now, Sendak uses the same 26 words (changing their order slightly and adding a few more in speech balloons) and illustrates them in more complex and colorful pictures to entertain another generation. The old artwork focused on the bears and their activities mentioned in the text, but the new illustrations add a dramatic subplot and a human element: a distinctively Sendakian human who looks a lot like Max in his wolf suit. This being Sendak, there is also a dog, here stealing a teddy bear and leading the boy on a merry chase through the rest of the book. And there are two visual elements that probably only Sendak could get away with: a teddy bear hung by the neck on the dedication page (rescued by his theatrically tearful owner) and a character smoking. The drawings are expressive and the tone is generally- playful-, though with a dark undertone. The relative complexity of the illustrations takes the book beyond the very young audience of the original edition. In fact, the whole drama may be best appreciated by an older audience, one that knows Sendak's other books and will enjoy a reprise of beloved, familiar elements. Carolyn Phelan
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Book Description HarperCollins, 2005. Library Binding. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # SONG0060757167
Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97800607571681.0
Book Description HarperCollins, 2005. Library Binding. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060757167