Synopses & Reviews
The New York Times bestselling author of Wicked presents an inspired visual tribute to the work of legendary writer and illustrator Maurice Sendak
Published in 1963 to great critical acclaim, Maurice Sendak's Caldecott Award-winning Where the Wild Things Are has sold millions of copies worldwide, garnered countless awards, and been translated into nineteen languages. In Making Mischief, Gregory Maguire reconsiders Sendak's oeuvre with the same adroit and idiosyncratic scrutiny that allowed him to see a heroine in the Wicked Witch of the West (Wicked) and add a charming dimension to the story of the Little Match Girl (Matchless).
An accomplished critic with signal reviews published in the New York Times Book Review and lectures on art delivered at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, and at other locations, Maguire examines Sendak's aesthetic influences from William Blake to Walt Disney, revealing the "conversations"—often unconscious and unspoken—that artists have with one another. A master of literary invention himself, Maguire explores recurring motifs in Sendak's life work—from monsters to mayhem—as well as his profound understanding of children, their creativity, and the breadth of emotions with which they encounter the world.
Making Mischief is a gift of the imagination to Maurice Sendak, one of the master mythmakers of our time.
"This refreshing gallery of illustrations, developed for a 2003 conference on Sendak, comes with an enthusiastic, expert docent. Maguire, a children's book authority and the author of Wicked (the basis for the hit musical), is an unabashed fan and friend, recounting his fortuitous first meeting with the maestro in 1977. Maguire arranges a bounty of favorite or rare illustrations into five playful and accessible essays. While constructing a 'palace of muses' who influence Sendak, he offers wonderful side-by-side comparisons of Sendak's work and pieces by William Blake, Randolph Caldecott and Reginald Birch (a 1900 sketch of a boy in a wolf suit prefigures the artist's wild children). Maguire situates Sendak in children's literature history, revisiting figures profiled in Sendak's Caldecott & Co. and reproducing sequential plates from William Nicholson's seldom-seen The Pirate Twins and cartoonist Wilhelm Busch's 19th-century Max und Moritz. In the spirit of Sendak's 'graphic anarchy' and theatrical composition of 'the page as a stage,' Maguire takes creative license too. He groups the materials thematically rather than chronologically, lists ten absolute must-haves to 'drag from a burning museum,' and-in a strangely thrilling capstone-recasts the familiar text of Where the Wild Things Are with alternative Sendak illustrations. This fitting and witty homage gives ample evidence for Maguire's contention that 'the word genius isn't grade inflation.'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
With the same adroit scrutiny that enabled him to recognize a heroine in the Wicked Witch of the West, Gregory Maguire, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked, reconsiders the oeuvre of the incomparable Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are). Making Mischief pays tribute to the visionary author and illustrator, his profound understanding of children, and his stunningly imaginative and groundbreaking work that carried the picture book so much higher and farther than it had ever flown. A beautifully designed, endlessly fascinating volume, Making Mischief is one master mythmakers heartfelt appreciation of another.
About the Author
Gregory Maguire is the author of several best-selling adult novels, including Wicked, which was turned into a Broadway musical. His books for younger readers include the picture book Crabby Cratchitt, the novel The Good Liar, and the popular Hamlet Chronicles series. While writing Leaping Beauty, Mr. Maguire sadly became allergic to all creatures great and small. Now he lives in a house without pets, though he is the father of three happy, noisy small children to whom, at this writing, he has not yet developed allergies.