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4.0 1
by Ruth Krauss, Maurice Sendak (Illustrator)

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With just 27 words, the inimitable Ruth Krauss created a charming little universe.

Now Maurice Sendak has turned her bears into a troupe of players in a slapstick comedy starring a familiar boy in a wolf suit.


With just 27 words, the inimitable Ruth Krauss created a charming little universe.

Now Maurice Sendak has turned her bears into a troupe of players in a slapstick comedy starring a familiar boy in a wolf suit.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Let the wild rumpus continue, Max seems to say, in Sendak's illustrations of Krauss's 1948 text-the hero's first appearance since the 1964 Caldecott Medal- winning Where the Wild Things Are. And a joyful fete it is. On the half-title page, a vignette of a yellow floppy-eared dog gazing adoringly at Max appears next to a spot illustration of a Teddy bear, dangling from a rope by its neck (echoes of the opening to Wild Things). When the boy rescues the stuffed bear and takes it to bed with him-leaving his pet on the floor-the pooch kidnaps the bear and, for the next nine spreads, hides the Teddy in a sea of giant ursine limbs. "Bears/ Bears/ Bears/ Bears/ Bears," opens the text, which spans just over two dozen words. Nothing in the text suggests the visual drama that unfolds, yet thanks to Sendak's canny mix of insight and playfulness, Max, his pup and Teddy bear appear completely at home in this furry wonderland. The dog darts between ursine legs "on the stairs" on one spread, and hides behind a shower curtain while the giant bears are "washing hairs" in another. Sendak fans will recognize the palm tree setting against a cornflower-blue sky for the bears "giving stares" (i.e., Max tames the wild things with "the magic trick/ of staring into all their yellow eyes without blinking once"). The pursuit continues past a parade of bejewelled furry "million aires" in top hats, berets and boas, where Max reclaims his toy. Just when the dog fears banishment again, Max welcomes his beloved pooch back into bed. The tale speaks to new siblings and dejected friends, but for Krauss and Sendak aficionados (the duo's decade-long collaboration began with A Hole Is to Dig-see Children's Books), this is an occasion for celebration. All ages. (June) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-Sendak's vision for Krauss's 1948 story is pure gold. The 27-word text is full of possibility: "Bears-Under chairs-Washing hairs-Giving stares-Collecting fares-." In both editions, the hand-lettered, cursive font creates an intimate, childlike aura, but the similarities stop there. Phyllis Rowand approached the phrases as discrete concepts to be illustrated. Her two-color spreads show fuzzy, brown bears in performance, with touches of gentle humor. Sendak sets a full-color story in motion on the cover. In a scene both familiar and fresh, a boy in a wolf suit snuggles his stuffed bear in a themed room where the object of his affection is replicated on every conceivable surface. His dog is visibly annoyed, and Sendak's signature honesty in dealing with emotions is evident in the pup's solution on the title page: the bear hangs from a noose. Upon witnessing more cuddling, the canine snatches the toy, and the chase is on. The boy pursues the duo through a world of adult-sized bears engaged in the silly or serious stage directions. The youngster's persistence finally pays off, but the pet assumes the place of honor in bed. The pained expression on the bear indicates that the story is far from over. Children will relate to the dog's jealousy, the child's separation anxiety, and the difficulty of divided loyalties. Sure to spark laughter and original wordplay, this is the marriage of two masters.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Sendak illustrates Krauss's 1948 original with visual and thematic references to his own Wild Things, interpreting a small drama in 27 words as a tale of childhood rivalry. The cover tableau grounds the story, with Max and his teddy bear cuddled in bed as a displaced dog looks on possessively. The dog's jealousy causes him to steal the bear and a chase ensues across the pages, all populated by bears, with a brief stop on the island where the "wild things" are, of course, bears. It's a circular journey that begins and ends in Max's room with Sendak's moon shining in. The wayward dog, to his blissful satisfaction, supplants the bear at last. Is this a forgiving Max overlooking organic misbehavior? The pooch doubtless finds Max's bed "still warm." Sendak's line is soft and thick, depicting dozens of non-threatening bears as large, pudgy and expressive. Readers will relish the reappearance of the iconic Max and the recognition of their own capricious allegiances. (Picture book. 3-6)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.12(w) x 7.76(h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Ruth Krauss's beloved picture books include two Caldecott Honor Books, The Happy Day, illustrated by Marc Simont, and A Very Special House, illustrated by Maurice Sendak, as well as the perennial favorite A Hole is to Dig, also illustrated by Mr. Sendak.

In addition to Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak's books include Kenny's Window, Very Far Away, The Sign on Rosie's Door, Nutshell Library (consisting of Chicken Soup with Rice, Alligators All Around, One Was Johnny, and Pierre), Higglety Pigglety Pop! or There Must Be More to Life, In the Night Kitchen, Outside Over There, We Are All in the Dumps with Jack and Guy, and Bumble-Ardy.

He received the 1964 Caldecott Medal for Where the Wild Things Are; the 1970 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration; the 1983 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, given by the American Library Association in recognition of his entire body of work; and a 1996 National Medal of Arts in recognition of his contribution to the arts in America. In 2003, he received the first Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, an international prize for children's literature established by the Swedish government.

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Bears 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For anyone who likes Maurice Sendak, this is a must! Not as creepy/scary as much of his other stuff, and the pictures of the bears are great.