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Picture books | class #1, fall 2017

For our first class on September 6, we will be reading two picture books and three articles. Where the Wild Things Are is a classic in the US now, but when it was first published in 1963, it was controversial. If you knew this book as a child, what did you notice this time that […]

Outside Over There and Gay Pride

Jonathan Cott’s new book There’s a Mystery There (Doubleday) is a terrific examination of what its subtitle calls “The Primal Vision of Maurice Sendak.” It accomplishes this by focusing on a single book, Sendak’s masterpiece, Outside Over There (1981), winner of a Caldecott Honor and a Boston Globe–Horn Book Award. And Cott’s objective is to […]

Review of There’s a Mystery There: The Primal Vision of Maurice Sendak

There’s a Mystery There: The Primal Vision of Maurice Sendak by Jonathan Cott Doubleday    242 pp. 5/17    978-0-385-54043-8    $30.00 e-book ed.  978-0-385-54044-5    $15.99 Cott first interviewed Maurice Sendak for Rolling Stone in 1976 and again for Cott’s book Pipers at the Gates of Dawn (1983), in which the two first discussed […]

Picture books | class #1, fall 2016

For our first class on October 12, we will be reading two picture books and three articles. Where the Wild Things Are is a classic now, but when it was first published in 1963 it was controversial. If you knew this book as a child, what did you notice this time that you might not […]

Ain’t no party like a Sendak party…

…’cause a Sendak party’s full of Wild Things.* Last weekend Roger attended a celebration of the life of Maurice Sendak, on the occasion of what would have been the incomparable author/illustrator’s 88th birthday. He brought back a few Sendak-themed party favors to share with the office: If you, too, miss the “King of All the […]

Where the Wild Things Are | Class #1 2016

For our first class this year, we are again reading Where the Wild Things Are, a picture book that is now a classic, but was controversial in its day. Every year there are a handful of students who have never read this book. For those who know it well, I’m interested in hearing whether you […]

Stephen Colbert: kidlit after dark

The outside world doesn’t always get kidlit and YA lit. Children’s books are cute and easy and anyone with a vague sense that children are charming can write them, right? And anyone can write silly fluff for young adults. Especially anyone with a famous name. That’s a common attitude, anyway. But there are celebrities who […]

Camp Sendak

When I was fourteen years old, I went away to Camp Tamarack near Hinckley, Minnesota. It was a beautiful place, set along the wooded banks of the St. Croix River. I loved it there. Flash forward to this past July. I’m a man of fifty and I find myself on Scotch Hill Farm near Cambridge, New […]

Where the Wild Things Are | Class #1 2015

For our first class this year, we are again reading Where the Wild Things Are, a picture book that is now a classic, but was highly controversial in its day. It’s rare to find students who have never read Where the Wild Things Are, but every year there are a handful. For those who know […]

Editorial: Upstate Over There

“Will there ever be another Sendak?” This is the question I posed last week to the 2014 Sendak Fellows, illustrators Nora Krug and Harry Bliss, at Scotch Hill Farm, the late artist’s upstate New York retreat now owned by Sendak’s longtime assistant Lynn Caponera. I had come to the farm — and it is an […]