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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Maurice Sendak, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Neil Gaiman On the Value of Ghost Stories

Newbery Medal-winning author Neil Gaiman headlined “a semi-secret late-night event” during the TED 2014 conference. Brain Pickings reports that Gaiman performed recitations of a ghost story and an essay entitled “Ghost in the Machine.”

Here’s an excerpt from Gaiman’s readings: “We have been telling each other tales of otherness, of life beyond the grave, for a long time; stories that prickle the flesh and make the shadows deeper and, most important, remind us that we live, and that there is something special, something unique and remarkable about the state of being alive. Fear is a wonderful thing, in small doses.”

Press play in the Soundcloud player embedded above to listen. In his essay, Gaiman discusses human society’s history with terrifying tales and the value of ghost stories. During the event, Gaiman also talked about why he agrees with J.R.R. Tolkien and Maurice Sendak’s idea that “there is no such thing as ‘children’s’ books” and “the ghosts of today that terrify” him.

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3. John Steinbeck Gets Google Doodle For His Birthday

steinbeck doodle

Google has created a Doodle to celebrate John Steinbeck’s 112th birthday. Throughout his writing career, Steinbeck penned many beloved works including East of Eden, Of Mice & Men, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning title, The Grapes of Wrath.

To this day, Steinbeck is a widely respected and read author. According to SFGate, the organizers behind the Steinbeck Festival plan to celebrate the 75th anniversary of The Grapes of Wrath at this year’s event. In April, the Of Mice & Men play starring James Franco and Chris O’Dowd will open on Broadway.

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4. Re-Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Previously on A Fuse #8 Production . . .

In 2012 I came up with a crazy idea.  We all love Dr. Seuss.  We all know his work.  So for fun I asked folks to illustrate a scene from their favorite Seuss book in the style of a different children’s author.  The result: The Re-Seussification Project.  And that, ladies and gentlemen, was going to be the end of that.

Then Phil Nel had a notion.

What if The Niblings (Travis from 100 Scope Notes, Phil from Nine Kinds of Pie, Jules from Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, and myself) were to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the publication date of Where the Wild Things Are?  Truthfully, we didn’t know the precise date that it hit bookstore and library shelves nationwide.  What we did know was that it was in the fall, possibly October.  So October 15th just seemed a good stand-in date to celebrate.  Today you will find that each one of us has come up with an interesting and original way of celebrating the man and his legend.  In my particular case, I do it by exploiting the talents of others.  I feel no shame.

Back in April, you see, I put out the call.  Folks were to redo a scene from a Sendak illustration in the style of another artist in the field.  It could be something he illustrated, something he wrote, anything.  I wondered if folks would all do the same books and illustrators or if they’d shake it up a bit.  I never expected what I received.  You’re in for a treat.

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for . . . the results!

Where the Wild Things Are in the style of Saul Bass

BassSendak 500x386 Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Art by Jim Averbeck

 

Alligators All Around in the style of Tomie de Paola

DePaolaSendak Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Art by Bernie Mount

 

Where the Wild Things Are in the style of Jules Feiffer

JulesFeifferSendak 500x305 Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Art by Nick Bruel

Where the Wild Things Are in the style of Oliver Jeffers

JeffersSendak 500x429 Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Art by Ken Min

 

In the Night Kitchen in the style of Kevin Henkes

HenkesSendak Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Art by Susanne Lamb

Where the Wild Things Are in the style of Clement Hurd

ClementHurdSendak 500x351 Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Art by Airlie Anderson

 

Where the Wild Things Are in the style of Crockett Johnson

CrockettJohnsonSendak 500x364 Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Art by Minh Le

 

Really Rosie in the style of Ezra Jack Keats

EzraJackKeatsSendak Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Art by Cecilia Cackley

 

Where the Wild Things Are in the style of Robert Lawson

RobertLawsonSendak 500x388 Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Art by Mike Boldt

 

Chicken Soup With Rice in the style of Laura Numeroff

NumeroffSendak Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Art by Deirdre Jones

 

Where the Wild Things Are in the style of Miroslav Sasek

MiroslavSasekSendak Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Art by Nancy Vo

 

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s Farm in the style of Miroslav Sasek

Sasek2Sendak Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

(For those of you unfamiliar with the original, Mr. Burks was kind enough to pass along the original Sendak image, seen here:)

SedakPiggle Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Art by James Burks

 

Bumble-Ardy in the style of Richard Scarry

ScarrySendak Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Art by K-Fai Steele

 

Pierre in the style of Chris Van Allsburg

VanAllsburgSendak Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Art by Nathan Hale

And that might have been the end, had I not received the following email from Bernie Mount, a librarian at the St. Rita Catholic School:

“So, I had my 7th grade students try their hand at the Re-Sendakify project.  It’s funny to see them try to think outside the box and really grasp the concept . . . They had a good time and I was happy to introduce them to Maurice Sendak.  It was amazing how many of them only knew “Where the Wild Things Are” and some only the movie version.”

Well, with an intro like that I couldn’t help but wonder what the kids had come up with.  I’m grateful to anyone that turns one of my pet projects into a school assignment.  What’s also very interesting to me here is that at least two of the kids’ images think along the same lines as the artists above.  It makes you wonder what it is about certain illustrators that you would naturally equate Pierre with Van Allsburg or Harold with Max.  Here, in any case, is the work of some truly talented kids:

A Hole is to Dig in the style of Kevin Henkes

Henkes2Sendak Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Analee A., Savana S., and Gabby S.

 

Where the Wild Things Are in the style of Crockett Johnson

Johnson2Sendak 500x385 Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Quinn B., Kevin P., & Matthew W.

 

Little Bear’s Visit in the style of Jon Klassen

KlassenSendak Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Carson W., Nicholas J., & John Alfred Z.

 

Where the Wild Things Are in the style of Ian Falconer

FalconerSendak 500x383 Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Helen H. & Maggie K.

 

One Was Johnny in the style of James Dean

JamesDeanSendak 500x378 Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Maddy M., Paige M., Molly F.

 

Pierre in the style of Chris Van Allsburg

VanAllsburg2 Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Lauryn S.

 

Where the Wild Things Are in the style of Melanie Watt

WattSendak 500x385 Re Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results

Christopher R., Barrett L., & Luke H.

Thanks one and all to the talented artists that spend untold gobs of time to put these together.  One could not hope for a better celebration of the man and his works than this.  And be sure to see posts from Travis from 100 Scope Notes, Phil from Nine Kinds of Pie, and Jules from Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast for more 50th anniversary high hilarity.

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10 Comments on Re-Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results, last added: 10/15/2013
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5. No Fee Writing Contest

Maurice Sendak’s Little-Known and Lovely Posters Celebrating Books and the Joy of Reading

http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/09/03/maurice-sendak-posters-reading-books/

mauricesendakposters5

Real Simple – Sixth Annual Life Lessons Essay Contest

What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?

Maybe, in the course of your life, you’ve had an Erin Brockovich moment: say, the time you stood up to a bully in second grade, or the day you ended a long-standing friendship that had turned toxic. Or maybe your acts of courage have been less dramatic but no less powerful: moving to a new country. Daring to fall in love a second time around. Leaving a settled career to embark on a risky new venture. Whatever your story, share it with us.

Enter Real Simple’s sixth annual Life Lessons Essay Contest and you could have your essay published in Real Simple and receive a prize of $3,000.

Send your typed, double-spaced submission (1,500 words maximum, preferably in a Microsoft Word document) to lifelessons@realsimple.com.

Contest runs through 11:50 P.M. EST on  September 19, 2013.

All submitted essays must be nonfiction. Open to legal residents of the United States age 19 or older at time of entry. Void where prohibited by law. (Entries will not be returned.)

Read This Year’s Winning Essays

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How should I format my entry? A. Essays should be submitted in English at a maximum of 1,500 words and typed and double-spaced on 8½-by-11-inch paper. Essays exceeding this length or handwritten may not be considered. If submitted by e-mail, we prefer that you send the essay in a Microsoft Word document; however, we will also consider essays that are pasted into the body of the e-mail itself.

Also be sure to include your name, address, and phone numbers (home, work, cell) in the body of the e-mail and on any copies or attachments of the essay itself.

Q. How do I submit my entry? A. You have two options.

  1. E-mail your submission to lifelessons@realsimple.com.
  2. Mail your entry to the following address: Essay Contest Real Simple 1271 Avenue of the Americas, 9th floor New York, NY 10020

Each e-mail submission will receive a return message verifying that the essay was received. Please be aware that due to the volume of submissions, we cannot send verification that we have received your specific submission by mail. Additionally, please note that winners and runners-up will be notified in and around January 7, 2014. If you are not contacted, you are free to submit your piece elsewhere.

Q. What happens if I go over the word limit? A. Your essay can be excluded from consideration. And although there is no word minimum, we strongly encourage all contest participants to submit at least 1,000 words to maximize their chances of winning.

Q. Can I choose to remain anonymous? A. Unfortunately, we cannot consider anonymous entries for this contest.

Q. My piece has been previously published. Will you consider it? A. No. All entries must be original pieces of work and not be previously published.

Q. Should I send in photos or other memorabilia that relate to my essay? A. Please don’t. The essays are judged on the following criteria: originality (25 percent), creativity (25 percent), use of language (25 percent), and appropriateness to contest theme (25 percent). No supporting materials will be considered, and they cannot be returned to you.

Q. Is there anything else you can tell me about how to stand out from the crowd? A. Certainly. Here are a few pointers from the Real Simple editors who judge the contest.

  • Stick to the theme of the contest. Sounds obvious, right? But every year we get many entries that diverge—sometimes wildly—from the stated topic. You may have an amazing essay in the bottom drawer of your desk, but if it doesn’t cover the contest theme, it’s not going to win.
  • But don’t feel the need to parrot back the exact wording of the contest theme in your essay. For example, if the theme is “What was the most important day in your life?” try not to begin the piece with “The most important day of my life was…”
  • Check your spelling. Double-duh, or so you’d think. But as many as one in five entries has multiple misspellings.
  • Avoid clichés. (And please don’t try to work the phrase ‘real simple’ into your essay. It almost never works.)
  • Try writing on a less-expected subject. Many submissions cover similar ground: pregnancies, weddings, divorces, illnesses. Many of these essays are superb. But you automatically stand out if you explore a more unconventional event. In one year’s batch of submissions, memorable writers described the following: a son leaving for his tour of duty; getting one’s braces off; and learning that an ex-wife was remarried.

For more information, see the official contest rules.

What do you have to lose? Fifteen Hundred Words is easy and you only have to email it in. Who knows you could put a little extra cash in your pocket.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, Contest, earn money, opportunity, Places to sumit Tagged: Life Lessons, Maurice Sendak, No fee Contest, Posters, Real Simple Essay Contest

6 Comments on No Fee Writing Contest, last added: 9/11/2013
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6. Most Expensive Book Sales of 2012

AbeBooks has released its annual list of the most expensive books sold by the used and rare books dealer.

This year, an 1603 astronomy text by Johann Bayer topped the list–selling for $47,729. An inscribed first edition of Ian Fleming’s  Casino Royale took third place as a $46,000 purchase. We’ve collected the top five books below, with Louisa May Alcott and Maurice Sendak tied for fifth place.

Here’s more from AbeBooks: “In third place is Franz Kafka’s novel Die Verwandlung (aka The Metamorphosis), which sold for $30,000.The original German edition is highly sought after because of Kafka’s ability to deliver unexpected impact at the end of his sentences. This effect has been difficult for English translators to replicate so the original German script is essential for Kafka collectors.”

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7. How Gerardo never got to meet Maurice

By Gerardo Blumenkrantz, 2012 Sendak Fellow.





0 Comments on How Gerardo never got to meet Maurice as of 12/31/2012 7:37:00 PM
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8. Video Sunday: Steampunk rodentia

Charlotte 500x301 Video Sunday: Steampunk rodentia

Now this is really neat.  There’s a series called BOOKD through THINKR (apparently E’s are considered gauche these days) that will take a topic and really go into it with a panel of experts.  In this particular case the question is whether or not you should re-read Charlotte’s Web.  Author Bruce Coville and teacher/blogger/author Monica Edinger (amongst others) give their two cents.  Really nicely edited and shot, don’t you think?

In other news, I had no idea that the Royal Shakespeare Company had created a staged adaptation of The Mouse and His Child by Russell Hoban.  Hoban died just last year in 2012.  I feel a bit miffed that he didn’t get to see this.  Maybe he got a sneaky peak in some way.  At any rate, it look fantastic (love the ending on the second video).  I just wonder how they pulled off The Caws of Art.  I’ve two videos here for the same production.  Love them both for very different reasons.

Thanks to Stefan for the links!

Sometimes I like to step into an alternate universe where I grew up in the USSR and watched television like this version of The Hobbit.  Instead I grew up on the old Rankin & Bass version.  Which was better?  Um . . .

Thanks to Educating Alice for the link!

And kudos to The New York Times for this lovely Christoph Neimann illustrated video of an interview Sendak conducted with NPR.

Sendak 500x274 Video Sunday: Steampunk rodentia

 

When I die, let’s do that.  That would be fun.  Make a note of it.

And finally, for the off-topic part, gold gold goldy gold.  I don’t even know if you could label it “Off-Topic” since it involves a child reading.  Or rather, a three-year-old child “reading”.  I know it’s three minutes but I seriously sat down and watched the whole thing because it’s a fascinating case study in what words kids pick up on when they hear stories.  The “but then” particularly amuses.

Many thanks to Stephany Aulenback for sharing that.

 

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9. The Maurice Sendak Community School



My friend Robin Rosenthal, talented designer and illustrator, emailed me a couple of weeks ago with some exciting yet still unofficial news regarding a new Public School in Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY. 
She, and other members of the pre-PTA, were trying to get all the necessary approvals in order to name the school after Maurice Sendak. 
Today, it's official: PS 118 will be named The Maurice Sendak Community School.
I believe this is the first school named after him (who was born in Brooklyn in 1928), and I am very curious to see how many others will follow in the next years.

2 Comments on The Maurice Sendak Community School, last added: 2/9/2013
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10. Brian Selznick Creates Free Children’s Book Week Poster

The Invention of Hugo Cabret author Brian Selznick has created the beautiful 2013 Children’s Book Week poster embedded above, a tribute to authors and illustrators Remy Charlip and Maurice Sendak.

Schools and libraries can get free copies of the poster during April and May, encouraging kids to keep reading. To order a copy, you must pay for shipping. Here’s more information:

To receive a free poster(s) with activity guide, please send a 9 x 12 self-addressed envelope (for 1 or 10 posters) or a 10 x 13 self-addressed envelope (for 25 posters) with appropriate postage affixed. Note that Postal regulations have changed. Please use the USPS Postage Price Calculator to determine postage cost, or ask for help at your local post office … There is a 25 poster maximum per person. Due to the volume of poster requests, we cannot process any poster orders that do not include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

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11. I have no words..




I can't stop crying after watching this. 

What an honest, honest man Maurice was.
 The world is missing out without him here.



3 Comments on I have no words.., last added: 3/1/2013
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12. “Touch Me”

50 Book Pledge | Book #24: My Brother’s Book by Maurice Sendak

In honour of National Poetry Month, I present “Touch Me” from Collected Poems by Stanley Kunitz.

Summer is late, my heart.
Words plucked out of the air
some forty years ago
when I was wild with love
and torn almost in two
scatter like leaves this night
of whistling wind and rain.
It is my heart that’s late,
it is my song that’s flown.
Outdoors all afternoon
under a gunmetal sky
staking my garden down,
I kneeled to the crickets trilling
underfoot as if about
to burst from their crusty shells;
and like a child again
marveled to hear so clear
and brave a music pour
from such a small machine.
What makes the engine go?
Desire, desire, desire.
The longing for the dance
stirs in the buried life.
One season only,
and it’s done.
So let the battered old willow
thrash against the windowpanes
and the house timbers creak.
Darling, do you remember
the man you married? Touch me,
remind me who I am.


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13. Dreaming Up Children's Books: An Interview with Artist/Illustrator Joy Chu

Reblogged from UC San Diego Extension:

Click to visit the original post

"Sure, it's simple, writing for kids...just as simple as bringing them up." - Ursula K. LeGuin

We recently had a chat with children's book illustrator and instructor Joy Chu about her taste in children's literature and for some advice on entering the field. Joy is teaching our first online children's book illustration course in Winter 2013 (the class opens for enrollment in October)!

Read more… 532 more words

*  NOTE: The above is from an interview that was featured in UCSD Extension's Blog last fall, just before I began teaching the on-line version of my class, "Illustrating Books for Children"/Winter 2013 Quarter. — JC

2 Comments on Dreaming Up Children's Books: An Interview with Artist/Illustrator Joy Chu, last added: 6/19/2013
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14. Film Review: For Tomi Ungerer, Far Out Isn’t Far Enough

In the 1950s, when the pages of the Saturday Evening Post and McCall’s were dominated with the realist paintings of Norman Rockwell and Bernie Fuchs, French-born illustrator Tomi Ungerer brought in his loose, graphic drawing style and absurdist sensibilities and changed the direction of American illustration. In the new documentary film Far Out Isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story, we learn about Ungerer’s early life in Alsace, France as a young artist encouraged by the Nazi party during their French occupation, to his journey to America in search of new opportunities, and his subsequent blacklisting from the children’s book industry.

Featuring interviews with Steven Heller, Jules Feiffer and the late Maurice Sendak, Far Out Isn’t Far Enough is a buoyant and vivid documentary film, painting an inspiring picture of an award-winning illustrator, trilingual author, brilliant satirist, and dedicated humanitarian advocate. Ungerer upended social and professional morays in the pre-pre-Internet era, delighting (and offending) editors, critics and readers by breaking taboos, back when there was still a better assortment of taboos waiting to be broken.

Ungerer’s portrayal is both of an unstable-but-good spirited neighborhood kook and avuncular storyteller, grinning from behind a freshly lit joint and admiring a recently found dismembered baby doll appendage. “Children should be traumatized,” he grins. “If you want to give them an identity, children should be traumatized.” And he speaks from personal experience; socially paranoid, emotionally erratic and “oblivious,” as recounted by Sendak, he represents that classic tortured artist, except that instead of wringing his hands over how best to suffer for his creations, he suffered, survived and then created.

“When I draw it’s a real need,” says Ungerer. “It’s the kind of need like, if you’re hungry, you have to eat, or you have to go to the toilet—it’s got to go out.” His early children’s books, The Mellops Go Flying and Crictor, about pigs and a boa constrictor, respectively, set the tone for the work that would follow: “detestable” creatures (a vulture, a bat, an ogre) cleverly depicted as unlikely heroes, providing children with much needed provocative subject matter.

His political posters were motivated by his fascination with the American civil rights movement and the global conflicts of the 1960s: Uncle Sam shoving Lady Liberty down the throat of a Vietnamese man, a black figure and a white figure devouring each other from opposite ends, a military plane dropping silhouetted bombs under a curtain of pink ribbon presents with the label “Give,” all of which retain their graphic resonance to this day.

And his erotic works, which served as a personal rebellion against his puritanical upbringing, began with a personal relationship that involved “a bit of bondage,” and evolved into titles like Fornicon, a collection of erotica and “mechanical sex recipes.”

While the diversity of his work is one of the most unique aspects of his career, it was this sort of simultaneous co-habitation of creative worlds that eventually worked against him, getting his children’s books (unofficially) banned from libraries for over twenty-five years. His detractors have finally come around and he has received recognition for his body of work as a children’s book author and illustrator. In 1998, Ungerer was presented the Hans Christian Anderson award for his “lasting contribution to children’s literature” and named Ambassador for Childhood and Education by the 47-nation Council of Europe.

If anything, the film may leave you longing for the Golden Age of Publishing in the 1950s and ’60s, where any talented newcomer with the right portfolio—or in Ungerer’s case, a Trojan condom box—could go from door to door peddling their illustrations, and become an industry darling.

Far Out Isn’t Far Enough is directed by Brad Bernstein, and features motion graphics supervised by Brandon Dumlao. The film is distributed by First Run Features and is continuing to open in theaters across the country.

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15. Maurice Sendak - a smart smart man

 I, blessedly, had very good parents.  But, not everyone has very good parents.  Parents try to be good - for the most part.  But sometimes we/they are not.

Here is an illustrated interview with Maurice Sendak on how hard it is to be a child.  He is truly missed.
Thanks to Betsy at Fuse#8 for sharing this.  Check out her other Sunday videos.

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16. Books mentioned in the June 2012 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Picture books
Where the Wild Things Are (1963) written and illus. by Maurice Sendak, Harper, 3–7 years.
In the Night Kitchen (1970) written and illus. by Maurice Sendak, Harper, 3–7 years.
Outside Over There (1981) written and illus. by Maurice Sendak, Harper, 3–7 years.
Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present (1962) written by Charlotte Zolotow, illus. by Maurice Sendak, Harper, 3–7 years.

Easy readers
A Hole Is to Dig (1952) written by Ruth Krauss, illus. by Maurice Sendak, Harper, 5–8 years.
Little Bear (1957) by Else Holmelund Minarik, illustrated by Maurice Sendak, Harper, 5–8 years.
Nutshell Library (1962) written and illus. by Maurice Sendak, Harper, 5–8 years.

Chapter books and intermediate
Higglety Pigglety Pop! or There Must Be More to Life (1967) written and illus. by Maurice Sendak, Harper, 7–10 years.
The Animal Family (1965) written by Randall Jarrell, illus. by Maurice Sendak, Pantheon, 7–10 years.
The Wheel on the School (1954) written by Meindert DeJong, illus. by Maurice Sendak, Harper, 9–12 years.

Folklore
The Juniper Tree and Other Tales from Grimm (1973), selected by Lore Segal and Maurice Sendak, illus. by Maurice Sendak, Farrar, 7–10 years.
I Saw Esau: The Schoolchild’s Pocket Book (new edition, 1992) edited by Iona and Peter Opie, illus. by Maurice Sendak, Candlewick, 5–8 years.
We Are All in the Dumps with Jack and Guy (1993) written and illus. by Maurice Sendak, di Capua/HarperCollins, 5–8 years.

Music
Brundibar (2003) retold by Tony Kushner, illus. by Maurice Sendak, after the opera by Hans Krása and Adolf Hoffmeister, di Capua/Hyperion, 5–8 years.
Lullabies and Night Songs (1966) edited by William Engvick, with music by Alec Wilder, illus. by Maurice Sendak, Harper, 3–7 years.
The Nutcracker (1984) written by E. T. A. Hoffmann, translated by Ralph Manheim, illus. by Maurice Sendak, Crown, 5–8 years.

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17. Five Family Favorites with Caroline Grant

By Nicki Richesin, The Children’s Book Review
Published: June 8, 2012

Caroline Grant's sons reading.

We’re very pleased to share Caroline Grant’s Five Family Favorites with you. We’ve been reading her delightful food stories and recipes on her blog Learning to Eat for years. And we’re eagerly awaiting the forthcoming book based on it, The Cassoulet Saved Our Marriage: True Tales of Food, Family, and How We Learn to Eat. Caroline is editor-in- chief of Literary Mama, a fantastic magazine and resource for mothers to return to for inspiration. She’s also the editor of another fascinating anthology Mama, PhD. Thanks to Caroline and her family for sharing their favorite books with us. They have made us hungry for more! 

In the Night Kitchen

By Maurice Sendak

In the Night Kitchen is the book my sons and I comforted ourselves with when we heard the sad news of Maurice Sendak’s death last month. This quirky story, frequently banned because Mickey slips out of his pajamas and frolics naked in his dreams, is a terrific fantasy of independence and cake baking. We love the bold illustrations and the comic book look of the book, the inventiveness of buildings topped with egg beaters and juicers, and the subway train that looks like a loaf of bread, but most of all, we love that Mickey can stretch bread dough into an airplane and fly wherever he wants until, having fetched the baker’s milk, he slides gently back home and safely into bed.

Ages 3-6 | Publisher: HarperCollins | 1970 | Caldecott Honor, 1971

Pancakes, Pancakes!

By Eric Carle

Everyone knows Eric Carle’s wonderful The Very Hungry Caterpillar, but our very favorite Eric Carle book is Pancakes, Pancakes!, in which a boy named Jack asks his mother for pancakes. “I am busy and you will have to help me,” his mother says, a line that sets Jack off on a gentle adventure. One by one, his mother names the ingredients needed and Jack gathers them: he cuts and threshes wheat; grinds the wheat into flour; milks the cow and churns the milk into butter; feeds the hen so she’ll lay an egg; cuts wood for the fire; and finally, steps down into their cool cellar for some jam. I love that Jack’s mother doesn’t drop everything to cook for h

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18. Special Sendak celebration issue of Notes

It’s the second Wednesday of the month, and you know what that means! Notes from The Horn Book, our monthly email newsletter, is on its way to inboxes everywhere.

This month we have something special: a Maurice Sendak-only edition to remember the great illustrator and celebrate his June 10th birthday. In this issue, Roger talks with the Sendak Fellows about their mentor; we also highlight Sendak’s work across many genres.

june sendak notes Special Sendak celebration issue of Notes

Click here to read the newsletter online, or subscribe to have it delivered each month. In the newsletter archives you’ll find more great recommended books and author/illustrator interviews.

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19. King of All the Caldecotts

sendak sutton 2011 170x207 King of All the Caldecotts“If this book doesn’t win the Caldecott Medal I’m going to kill myself.” I heard that from Zena Sutherland, quoting Ursula Nordstrom, while Zena and I were at Philadelphia’s Rosenbach Museum in 1982, viewing an exhibition of the complete original art for the book in question, Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are.

That book did of course win the 1964 Medal, a very nice cherry on top of Sendak’s five previous Caldecott Honors (which would be joined by two more in later years). For Sendak, the best part of Where the Wild Things Are’s success was the financial security it brought (“It bought me my house,” he told me) and the freedom to do the projects he liked: “I took good advantage of [its] popularity to illustrate books that I passionately wanted to do without having to worry if they were commercial or not.” While the publishing economy of today might have encouraged Where the Wild Things Went and Where the Wild Things Went Next, Sendak mostly left the (considerable) spinning-off to others in order to to do what he wanted in a career that would include big books and small books, color and black-and-white, books by himself and books by others, opera and ballet design. Most Caldecott Medalists can’t afford to rest on their laurels; Sendak could, and didn’t.

When I look through the roster of Caldecott winners (seventy-five as of this year), I see dozens of fine books, but only three classics: Make Way for Ducklings, The Snowy Day, and Where the Wild Things Are. And of those, only the third has made the leap from the children’s bookshelf to become, as well, a touchstone of twentieth-century American art and culture. Maurice would sometimes complain about his other work being overshadowed, but come on, I would say, that’s huge. If sometimes he knew this and sometimes he forgot, what matters most is that it didn’t make one bit of difference either way to his work.

When I was speaking at the Eric Carle Museum recently, someone asked me if I thought Where the Wild Things Are could be published today. It’s an impossible question, because that book gave artists and publishers and librarians and children a new way to read. Its belief in an audience that could compose its own music for three wordless spreads and draw its own picture on the final page was generous. Its messages—that you can imagine without restraint, yell your head off, and still be altogether worthy of love—remain.

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20. Top 100 Picture Books #1: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

#1 Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (1963)
533 points

Arguably the single greatest picture book ever created. – Hotspur Closser

Some argue that Sendak did better work than Wild Things during the span of his career and while I agree on some level that this is true, I think his other books appeal to people on different, individual levels. In truth, there has never been a picture book made that has reached so many people on so many levels like Wild Things. I mean, we are all a little mischievous, we are all a little bit adventurous (even if only in our hearts), and we all have a deep longing to be taken care of and fed good things to eat. – Owen Gray

Because it makes my tongue happy to speak lines such as, “And sailed back over a year and out of weeks, and through a day into the night of his very own room.” And because it makes my heart happy to end a story with, “Where he found his supper waiting for him, and it was still hot.” – DaNae Leu

There is no moment in any picture book more perfect than when Max returns to his room and his dinner is still hot. Enough said. – Katie Ahearn

The evolution of picture books can be broken down into two time periods: Pre-Wild Things and Post-Wild Things. Sendak’s 1963 book was that instrumental in ushering in the modern age of picture books. While tackling themes of anger and loneliness, Sendak created one of the few picture books that still seems fresh after decades in print. – Travis Jonker

For me this has to be number 1, not only because it’s a wonderful adventure story for little ones, not only because it demonstrates the power of imagination, not only because love, anger, defiance, and love again are so inextricably intertwined, not only because it’s a amazing example of how an illustrator combines the elements of design so successfully, but because it does all these things in 32 pages and 1200 words, AND children love it! - Diantha McBride

It is what it is, and, it is the best. It reminds you every time you read it why it is the best. You want to read it to every child you love, every child you like, and every child who drives you crazy. - Laura Reed

What is there to say about such a classic? It deserves all the accolades it has gotten through the years. It allows kids to be wild and misbehave and go off to the jungle, but wake up in their very own room and dinner is still warm. A comforting but fun book. - Christine Kelly

You can’t beat how much fun this book is to read. And, amazingly enough, I still have it memorized (even though I don’t think I’ve read it aloud in a couple of years). – Melissa Fox

Classic. When I heard they were going to make a movie out of the book I thought, “What?” Part of what makes this book so special is the wordless page spreads… just wild things making a rumpus… I love that Sendak gives children the power to just absorb those images. Awesome stuff. – DeAnn Okamura

Still perfectly crafted, perfectly illustrated. It doesn’t really matter that Maurice Sendak is sick of the thing, this is simply the epitome of a picture book. Sendak, like Shel Silverstein and Roald Dahl, rises above the rest in part because he is subversive. Max is not a sweet little boy, he’s a crazy little kid like so many are in real life. And yes, the monsters represent his wildness, but that’s boring from a young reader’s standpoint. The fact is, Max gets to go have a monstrous adventure, and then he comes home and finds, not only soup, but a slice of cake. Because p

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21. John Vitale Leaving HarperCollins

John Vitale is leaving HarperCollins this month. He worked with authors that included Kurt Vonnegut, Maurice Sendak and Shel Silverstein.

Here’s more from the company memo: “John joined the company in April 1977 when Harper & Row acquired Thomas Y. Crowell & Co. In 1978, he was named Production Director for the Children’s Division. In 1998 he was promoted to Vice President of Book Production, where he added the Adult Trade Group to his existing responsibilities of Children’s and Audio.”

The publisher will promote Tracey Menzies to VP of production and creative operations to replace Vitale.

continued…

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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22. OIK Tuesday: a little hot soup for you

I've been away on vacation WITHOUT my computer (gasp!) but have returned to continue my series featuring the poems--and songs--that became part of my kindergarten class's Poetry Anthology last year.  We began 2012 with an introduction to the months of the year, and what better way to do that than with Chicken Soup with Rice?  Authored and illustrated by Maurice Sendak (RIP) and part of his Nutshell Library, this and other poems were later set to music by Carole King, and were in their turn animated as part of the Really Rosie movie.  Here's another of our favorites in this group of whimsies, "Alligators All Around":


For the class, I made copies of all twelve verses of Chicken Soup with Rice and each child selected their favorite one to illustrate for their anthology.  Here's August:

In August it will be so hot
I will become a cooking pot,
Cooking soup, of course--why not?
Cooking once,
Cooking twice,
Cooking chicken soup with rice!

Long ago in a first-grade class in East Harlem, we turned this song into a performance, with kids acting out each little scene and everybody chanting the names of the months in order in between verses.  Those kids left first grade knowing the months of the year for sure!  If you're a teacher and would like a copy of the sheets I made--nothing fancy--for Chicken Soup with Rice, let me know in the comments and I'll send it to you.

Poems from Montreal on Friday!

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23. On the Shelf with Librarian April Hayley

Librarian Spotlight #1

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: August 17, 2012

April Hayley, MLIS

To kick off TCBR’s new column “On the Shelf,” which shines a spotlight on brilliant children’s librarians, April Hayley, MLIS, graciously  talked to us about becoming a librarian— among other great topics. Do you think you can guess which is the most checked out children’s book at San Anslemo Public Library in California? Read on!

Bianca Schulze: Why did you choose to become a librarian?

April Hayley: I was fortunate enough to discover the magic of reading at a young age, probably before I was out of the cradle. My mother, a librarian, read me stories and sang to me every night before bed and my father made up fairy tales for me. I didn’t discover my calling as a librarian until college one summer, working for the Chicago Public Library (my hometown). My job was to provide library services to children in some of the city’s most neglected and poverty-stricken neighborhoods. Instead of working inside the library, I brought books and literacy activities directly to the young people who needed it most. I visited three playgrounds a day, equipped only with a trunk full of picture books and a quilt to sit on. Once the kids figured out why I was coming around, they always ran over to join me, so eager to read stories, sing songs, and learn something new.Reading opened up new worlds for the kids I met. I could see it as they linked their eyes with mine, and for me that was a powerful, life-changing experience.

Most of the precious children I met that summer had never been exposed to the pleasures of reading, and none of them had ever visited a public library. When I witnessed the joy and curiosity that reading sparked in them, I understood the transformative effect of reading on young minds and I knew I wanted to be a Children’s Librarian. Once I entered graduate school to earn my Masters in Library Science, I had the opportunity to intern in the Children’s Room of the beautiful Mill Valley Library, and I knew I was on the right path; delivering traditional library services within the walls of a suburban public library could be just as fun and rewarding as literacy outreach in the inner city.

BS: Librarians are the ultimate evangelists for reading. How do you encourage students and children to read?

AH: Now that I work at the San Anselmo Library, I am lucky that many of the kids I meet already love to read. There is a culture of reading in San Anselmo that simply does not exist in places whose inhabitants must spend their time dealing with the dispiriting effects of poverty. Of course, I do a lot of work to promote reading for the children, babies, caregivers, and teenagers of our community. I lead several weekly storytimes for toddlers and preschoolers, which are designed to nourish a love of reading that will last a lifetime. It’s important to reach out to new parents and their babies as early as possible to show them how fun reading, sharing nursery rhymes, learning fingerplays, and singing can be. I also lead a book discussion group for elementary school students called the Bookworms, and a poetry club for yo

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24. Books for the Peckish Reader

I am of the school that likes to read while eating. (Is that even a "school"? And of what — reading?) No, needs to read while eating. I know this is both very bad manners and apparently bad for the waistline, too: I have read that the dieter should eat without distraction, so as to [...]

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25. That Interviewer Sure Got An Earful

I've never been a fan of the cliche about  famous old people who say all kinds of dreadful things and everyone thinks they're honest and charming because, I guess, they're old and famous. So I probably didn't appreciate the interview with Maurice Sendak in The Believer as much as other readers will. Or maybe I should say that I appreciated it differently.

I have to admit, I roared when Sendak complained heartily--and graphically--about Salman Rushdie and claimed he called the Ayatollah about him. And like Sendak, I am not a fan of Roald Dahl. Over all, though, articles like this make me determined to continue watching VH-1 and reading books columns with the hopes that keeping up with the world will prevent me from spending my declining years going on about how good things used to be back in t he golden days of my youth.

2 Comments on That Interviewer Sure Got An Earful, last added: 11/6/2012
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