Will You Read: My Brother’s Book by Maurice Sendak?
Will You Read: My Brother’s Book by Maurice Sendak;
HarperCollins; February 5th, 2013; 32 pages.
Genre: Children’s Literature
Synopsis: Children’s book writer Maurice Sendak’s posthumously released book is a remembrance of lost brother Jack, also a writer, who passed away in 1995. In the story, Guy searches for his brother far and wide, including in an “ice-ribbed underworld” and in a polar bear, eventually finding him and falling asleep in his arms. Paired with Chagall-esque illustrations and poetic verse, My Brother’s Book serves as a strong bookend to Sendak’s work.
Also by this Author: In the Night Kitchen, Where the Wild Things Are, Outside Over There.
Related Books: Little Nemo in Slumberland: So Many Splendid Sundays by Winsor McCay, Peter Pan by James Barrie, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.
What the Critics Say: It’s the work not of a great children’s author and illustrator but of a great writer and artist, period. –Bruce Handy, Vanity Fair
My Gut Reaction: Sendak elevated the illustrated book to an artform, and served as an inspiration to thousands of writers, not to mention millions of misbehaving kids (to the likely consternation of their parents). My Brother’s Book, written in dreamy blank verse, may be a difficult introduction to Sendak for children under eighteen, but is nonetheless an important read. Whether or not the children will understand the prose, the illustrations are interesting enough to hold their attention. And just as certain books can be appreciated in different ways over different periods of one’s life, so too will this book be one that they can come back to as they grow and mature.