Synopses & Reviews
On September 28, 1983, the discovery of a previously unknown tale by Wilhelm Grimm was reported on the front page of The New York Times. “After more than 150 years,” the Times noted, “Hansel and Gretel, Snow-White, Rumpelstiltskin, and Cinderella will be joined by another Grimm fairy-tale character.” The story of dear Mili was preserved in a letter Wilhelm Grimm wrote to a little girl in 1816, a letter that remained in her familys possession for over a century and a half. It tells of a mother who sends her daughter into the forest to save her from a terrible war. The child comes upon the hut of an old man, who gives her shelter, and she repays his kindness by serving him faithfully for what she thinks are three days. Actually, thirty years have passed, but Mili has remained safe, and with the old mans blessing there is still time for a tender reunion with her mother. As for the pictures that interpret Dear Mili—hailed by School Library Journal as “gorgeous”—they were a milestone in Maurice Sendaks career, the work of a master at the height of his powers.
“Emotionally compelling . . . A variation on the themes of loss, separation and love . . . Sendak infuses it with images that are both nonsectarian and universal. Trees and roots in the valley of death become grasping, whitened bones scattered beneath an outline reminiscent of buildings at Auschwitz. The images are rich: dark clouds of war are etched with claws of yellow fire, and paradise is filled not only with music, but with lush flowers that burst, like those of Van Gogh or OKeeffe, with passionate life . . . Contains unforgettable artwork of resonant power.” —Publishers Weekly
“Dear Mili is among Mr. Sendaks finest creations. If one hesitates to call him the foremost illustrator in contemporary America, or the most accomplished draftsman, it is only because those terms set too narrow a limit on the nature of his achievement. He is an artist, nothing less; an artist with a powerful vision.” —John Gross, The New York Times
“In the Sendak world, stories unfold like dreams, where images connect emotionally and serendipitously, not by the logic imposed by grown-ups when they are awake. In much of his work, beauty and sorrow walk hand in hand . . . [Sendaks work gives] children the power to conquer through art and ingenuity, reminding parents of the complicated responsibility that requires them to be hopeful but realistic about the terrible wild things out there.” —The New York Times
A New York Times bestseller, this long-lost Grimm fairy tale illustrated by Maurice Sendak is available again
About the Author
MAURICE SENDAK (1928-2012) was one of the preeminent childrens book illustrators and authors of the twentieth century. Best-known for the Caldecott Medal-winning Where the Wild Things Are, he was also the recipient of the Hans Christian Andersen Award for childrens book illustration, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal, and the National Medal of Arts.
WILHELM GRIMM (1786-1859) was a German author, linguist, and folklorist who, along with his older brother, Jakob, published Childrens and Household Tales in 1812. Popularly known as Grimms Fairy Tales, this collection was continually revised by the brothers and ultimately included 210 folk tales, among them many that have become famous around the world.