Today is Maurice Sendak's 83rd Birthday! So I thought I'd quickly remind you of my favorite Maurice Sendak books:
+ The Juniper Tree: Grimm's Fairy tales are of course rather...grim...but for an older child, this is perhaps your best bet for an illustrated version. Sendak's distorted proportions and hints at the grotesque match perfectly with the darker element in these stories. The translation is fine, and the selection of stories excellent. NOT bedtime reading, though...
+ What Do You Say, Dear? and What Do You Do, Dear? are perhaps my favorite Sendak books--and certainly my favorite manners books. Wry and delightful, with outlandish situations that serve as gentle reminders for daily life. (Photo, above)
+ A Hole Is To Dig is one of those books that is as entertaining for a child as it is for an adult. "A first book of definitions" is was created by asking children what different objects and actions meant. Of course kids say the darndest things--we all know this--but sometime they offer quite profound answers as well. This will delight and entertain and perhaps teach a little something about the way we think and the way we see.
Other favorites that I have not reviewed:
+ Nutshell Library (a Caldecott winner)
+ In the Night Kitchen (a Caldecott winner)
+ Mommy? (one of the best pop up books)
+ Seven Little Monsters
+ Kenny's Window
+ I'll Be You and You Be Me (another from Ruth Krauss)
And if you really love Sendak, I recommend visiting the Rosenbach Museum in Philadelphia, which has a collection of his papers and drawings on view.
Finally: my favorite Sendak quote: