Review of the Week

In memory of the late Maurice Sendak:

Sendak, Maurice. Bumble-Ardy. Maurice Sendak, Illus.  Pic. Bk. HarperCollins, 2011. [32]p. $17.95 978-0-06-205198-1. OUTSTANDING.  GRADES PRE-3

Loosely based on an animated short film made for TV’s Sesame Street in 1971, Sendak’s newest picture book has plenty of child appeal and a joyous energy. A young pig has never had a birthday party, so he invites his friends over, unbeknownst to his guardian aunt. When she comes home to the riotous party, she disperses the crowd but kisses her piggy nephew, in a realistic parental response similar to Max and his mother from Where the Wild Things Are. The brief rhyming text appears on white borders, but the illustrations also contain words in the form of dialogue balloons, posters, and other hand-lettered text to tell the funny story. The illustrations feature a variety of animals and people in outlandish costumes, in deeply colored paintings with pencil outlines; there are figures reminiscent of earlier Sendak characters, including bakers. The original cartoon’s Bumble-Ardy was a human boy who invited pigs to his birthday party who “guzzle wine and hogged nine cakes,” but in this new version, he is a pig who invites human and pig guests who “guzzled brine and hogged sweet cakes.”

Penny Peck, San Jose State Univ, SLIS

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