Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Strict Pick: BUMBLE-ARDY by Maurice Sendak

Right? I'm recommending a picture book.

I'm young enough that WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE was part of my childhood repertoire, and old enough that I now teach it to my kindergarten reading students. So when I saw BUMBLE ARDY on the SOS cart this week, I had to pick it up and have a look.

And it's lovely, as expected. BUMBLE follows the same sort of trajectory as WILD THINGS, namely, a protagonist with a penchant for getting into trouble. In this case, it's a nine-year-old pig, sent to live with his Aunt, who's never had a birthday party. He invites all sorts of people over, and chaos ensues.

Unlike WILD THINGS, BUMBLE is missing some of those wonderful multi-page sentences that make THINGS such a fun read. However, Sendak retained the "wordless pages," which can be so much fun to sit with a young reader (or not-yet-reader) and let them make up the story. There's also much more rhyme (brine, nine, swine, etc.) which reinforces good early reading, but I thought made it not quite as an interesting read as WILD THINGS.

But of course, the highlight is Sendak's artwork, which is just as brilliant as ever. BUMBLE might not end up quite as enduring a classic as WILD THINGS, but it's definitely worth the gift list. I picked up a copy for each of my nieces.

Bumble-Ardy at Powell's
Bumble-Ardy at Amazon
Bumble-Ardy at Barnes & Noble

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