• Bumble-Ardy
  • Bumble-Ardy


4.5 2
by Maurice Sendak

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Since the publication of his classic Outside Over There in 1981, Maurice Sendak’s book illustrations have focused on interpreting the texts of such authors as James Marshall, Tony Kushner, Wilhelm Grimm, Ruth Krauss, Herman Melville, and Mother Goose. And beginning in 1980, with his sets and costumes for The Magic Flute, Sendak launched a busy

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Since the publication of his classic Outside Over There in 1981, Maurice Sendak’s book illustrations have focused on interpreting the texts of such authors as James Marshall, Tony Kushner, Wilhelm Grimm, Ruth Krauss, Herman Melville, and Mother Goose. And beginning in 1980, with his sets and costumes for The Magic Flute, Sendak launched a busy second career as the designer of stage productions of opera and ballet. Now comes Bumble-Ardy, the first book he has written as well as illustrated in thirty years.

Bumble-Ardy has evolved from an animated segment for Sesame Street to a glorious picture book about a mischievous pig who reaches the age of nine without ever having a birthday party. But all that changes when Bumble-Ardy throws a party for himself and invites all his friends, leading to a wild masquerade that quickly gets out of hand.

In this highly anticipated picture book, Sendak once again explores the exuberance of young children and the unshakable love between parent (in this case, an aunt) and child.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sendak plays to his multigenerational audience in his first solo escapade since 1981's Outside Over There (unless one counts Jack and Guy's nursery rhyme interpretation from 1993). Based on an early Sesame Street animated short created by Sendak and Jim Henson, this new Bumble-Ardy is a piglet. For eight years, the little hog's birthdays have been overlooked: "But when Bumble was eight/ (Oh, pig-knuckled fate!)/ His immediate family gorged and gained weight./ And got ate." On this eight/ate pun, with mischievous rhymes on nine to follow, Bumble is adopted by his Aunt Adeline. She leaves "the house at one past nine" on his birthday, never suspecting that Bumble has invited a vaudevillian riot of hogs to celebrate: "At nine past nine the piggy swine/ Broke down the door and guzzled brine/ And hogged sweet cakes and oinked loud grunts/ And pulled all kinds of dirty stunts." The elaborately costumed party animals replace the original animation's nine more ordinary pigs, and include a society matron, a grim reaper, greedy infants, and motley fools. Together they resemble a Saul Steinberg subterranean fantasia and allude to Sendak's decades of pop culture memories. In a Where the Wild Things Are spirit, the ecstatic crew dives into a wordless three-spread rumpus. A dizzy sequence shows Adeline busting up the party and confronting Bumble. "I won't ever turn ten!" he weeps, and she quickly forgives him. There's a looseness to Sendak's pencil lines throughout, particularly in transitional spreads that look as though torn from a sketchbook. Yet—in the outwardly breezy and subtly sinister mode of Higglety Pigglety Pop!—the hallucinatory imagery and impish rhymes are vintage Sendak. All ages. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Bumble-Ardy, a well-dressed pig, has not had a birthday party for eight years. He is cheered when his Aunt Adeline, who has adopted him, makes him one for his ninth birthday. As related in rhymes, "...he asked some grubby swine/ To come for birthday cake and brine at ten past nine." His aunt leaves for work at nine, so he does not tell her. The wild variety of characters that arrive for the party swarms across the double pages past some rhymes into three wild, wordless double-page spreads. The verbal tour de force with its play on the final sounds is matched by this weird collection in watercolors of human and porcine creatures, some carrying appropriate signs. But the sheer comedic behavior of the "guests" as they interact, drink, and dance in their odd costumes is so visually demanding that even the few lines of text tend to be forgotten. The five pages depicting Adeline's return and emotional transformation from sweet porker into murderous avenger chasing out the accumulated riffraff are almost frightening. The final happy reconciliation is heart-warming. Don't miss the contrasting jacket and cover. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—In 1970, Sendak collaborated with Jim Henson on an animated short for Sesame Street that celebrated the number nine and a birthday boy who partied with swine. The author has re-imagined the rhymed narrative with a cast composed completely of pigs. The plot is still driven by an unfortunately/fortunately engine, but accommodations have been made for today's sensitive parents, e.g., instead of wine, the pigs guzzle brine. In the opening sequence that spans the years and starts before the title page, readers learn that Bumble-Ardy has never had a birthday party. "His immediate family frowned on fun." When Bumble turns eight, his parents "got ate." On birthday nine, divine Aunt Adeline provides a "hotsy tottsy cowboy costume" and leaves for work, whereupon surreptitious invitations lead to a masquerade. Initially framed in ovals (a nod to the film), the revelers burst out of the borders and parade across a white background. Then the raucous rumpus begins. Costumed pigs carouse with wild abandon against a star-dotted sky in three full-bleed spreads. Nine appears as a numeral and in various languages. Savvy readers will notice references to Sendak's previous books and an ebullient cameo; scholars will undoubtedly discover personal iconography in the densely populated watercolors. Familiar themes abound: the quest for home, the capacity children have for navigating their circumstances, the pleasure of cake, the presence of death. A skeletal grim reaper dances next to the banner reading: "May Bumble live 900 years." Oh that Mr. Sendak could. Nobody does naughty quite like he does.—Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library
Kirkus Reviews

A master reincarnates his oldSesame Streetcartoon with a dark pathos and fascinating manic energy.

As one of the original architects of gleeful mischief and serious woe in modern picture books, Sendak employs both here. "Did you know / That Bumble-Ardy missed / Eight birthdays in a row?" opens the narration, the weeping porcine protagonist placing trotter to forehead. His original family "frowned on fun" and then (being pigs) "got ate," landing Bumble with adoptive "Adeline, that aunt divine." Luckily, "Bumble-Ardy had a party when he was nine." A pleasant, mild illustration shows Adeline in their slatted, open-air house presenting cake and gift, Bumble murmuring "Yippee!" But emotional complexity lurks: Bumble's eyes are red-rimmed, and nearby animals look gloomy and skeptical. Adeline gone to work, Bumble (permission-less) invites "grubby swine // To come for birthday cake and brine." Costumes evoke Bread & Puppet and Cinco de Mayo at this rambunctious masquerade ball; partiers revel with sinister gusto. During the multi-spread rumpus, rhyme sneaks onto signs: "Cheers! / Cheers! / Cheers! / May Bumble live 900 years!" When furious Adeline ejects the guests, her face morphs into a horror mask, but then she "Took in her Bumble valentine / And kissed him nine times over nine. // Now, ain't that fine?" Children and parents both will require many trips through to even begin to accommodate the emotional shifts here.

Edgier thanSesame's original, this contains all the layered meaning that makes Sendak's books readable over and over.(Picture book. 4 & up)

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
11.26(w) x 8.76(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

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Bumble-Ardy 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Dr_Wilson_Trivino More than 1 year ago
Growing up I have found memories of reading Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. I even got to hear him speak during college and remember a cantankerous individual with a huge line that I regret not waiting in to get my book sign and tell him how much I enjoyed his work. Now comes Bumble-Ardy, a lovable pig who lives with his aunt. He turns nine and no party to be had, so he has his own. It's cute to the point and the illustrations are lustrous and detailed to this piggy world. Bumble-Ardy is a joy to read over and over with that special someone to spawn a new generation into the magic writing of Maurice Sendak.
TManion More than 1 year ago
I wish it had stayed true to the Sesame St. song. I found the original much more delightful. But I am happy that at least the spirit of the orirignal has finally reached print.