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Bearsby Ruth Krauss and Maurice Sendak
Synopses & Reviews
First published in 1948, Krauss's 27-word poem created a charming little universe.
Now, Caldecott Medalist Maurice Sendak turns her bears into a troupe of players in a slapstick comedy starring a familiar boy in a wolf suit.
"Let the wild rumpus continue, Max seems to say, in Sendak's illustrations of Krauss's 1948 text — the hero's first appearance since the 1964 Caldecott Medal — winning Where the Wild Things Are. And a joyful fete it is. On the half-title page, a vignette of a yellow floppy-eared dog gazing adoringly at Max appears next to a spot illustration of a Teddy bear, dangling from a rope by its neck (echoes of the opening to Wild Things). When the boy rescues the stuffed bear and takes it to bed with him — leaving his pet on the floor — the pooch kidnaps the bear and, for the next nine spreads, hides the Teddy in a sea of giant ursine limbs. 'Bears/ Bears/ Bears/ Bears/ Bears,' opens the text, which spans just over two dozen words. Nothing in the text suggests the visual drama that unfolds, yet thanks to Sendak's canny mix of insight and playfulness, Max, his pup and Teddy bear appear completely at home in this furry wonderland. The dog darts between ursine legs 'on the stairs' on one spread, and hides behind a shower curtain while the giant bears are 'washing hairs' in another. Sendak fans will recognize the palm tree setting against a cornflower-blue sky for the bears 'giving stares' (i.e., Max tames the wild things with 'the magic trick/ of staring into all their yellow eyes without blinking once'). The pursuit continues past a parade of bejewelled furry 'million aires' in top hats, berets and boas, where Max reclaims his toy. Just when the dog fears banishment again, Max welcomes his beloved pooch back into bed. The tale speaks to new siblings and dejected friends, but for Krauss and Sendak aficionados (the duo's decade-long collaboration began with A Hole Is to Dig — see Children's Books), this is an occasion for celebration. All ages. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Sendak's line is soft and thick, depicting dozens of non-threatening bears as large, pudgy and expressive. Readers will relish the reappearance of the iconic Max and the recognition of their own capricious allegiances." Kirkus Reviews
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.
About the Author
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.
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