Dear Miliby Wilhelm Grimm
A newly discovered tale by Wilhelm Grimm about a little girl who is sent into the forest by her mother to escape the war. While there, she is cared for by Saint Joseph and her guardian angel.
“Emotionally compelling . . . A variation on the themes of loss, separation and love . . . Sendak infuses it with images that are both nonsectarian and universal. Trees and roots in the valley of death become grasping, whitened bones scattered beneath an outline reminiscent of buildings at Auschwitz. The images are rich: dark clouds of war are etched with claws of yellow fire, and paradise is filled not only with music, but with lush flowers that burst, like those of Van Gogh or O'Keeffe, with passionate life . . . Contains unforgettable artwork of resonant power.” Publishers Weekly
“Dear Mili is among Mr. Sendak's finest creations. If one hesitates to call him the foremost illustrator in contemporary America, or the most accomplished draftsman, it is only because those terms set too narrow a limit on the nature of his achievement. He is an artist, nothing less; an artist with a powerful vision.” John Gross, The New York Times
“In the Sendak world, stories unfold like dreams, where images connect emotionally and serendipitously, not by the logic imposed by grown-ups when they are awake. In much of his work, beauty and sorrow walk hand in hand . . . [Sendak's work gives] children the power to conquer through art and ingenuity, reminding parents of the complicated responsibility that requires them to be hopeful but realistic about the terrible wild things out there.” The New York Times
Read an Excerpt
I’m sure you have gone walking in the woods or in green meadows, and passed a clear, flowing brook. And you’ve tossed a flower into the brook, a red one, a blue one, or a snow-white one. It drifted away, and you followed it with your eyes as far as you could. And it went quietly away with the little waves, farther and farther, all day long and all night too, by the light of the moon or the stars. It didn’t need much light, for it knew the way and it didn’t get lost. When it had traveled for three days without stopping to rest, another flower came along on another brook. A child like you, but far far away from here, had tossed it into a brook at the same time. The two flowers kissed, and went their way together and stayed together until they both sank to the bottom. You have also seen a little bird flying away over the mountain in the evening. Perhaps you thought it was going to bed; not at all, another little bird was flying over other mountains, and when all was dark on the earth, the two of them met in the last ray of sunshine. The sun shone bright on their feathers, and as they flew back and forth in the light they told each other many things that we on the earth below could not hear. You see, the brooks and the flowers and the birds come together, but people do not; great mountains and rivers, forests and meadows, cities and villages lie in between, they have their set places and cannot be moved, and humans cannot fly. But one human heart goes out to another, undeterred by what lies between. Thus does my heart go out to you, and though my eyes have not seen you yet, it loves you and thinks it is sitting beside you. And you say: “Tell me a story.” And it replies: “Yes, dear Mili, just listen.”
Meet the Author
MAURICE SENDAK (1928–2012) was one of the preeminent children's book illustrators and authors of the twentieth century. Best-known for the Caldecott Medal–winning Where the Wild Things Are, he was also the recipient of the Hans Christian Andersen Award for children's book illustration, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal, and the National Medal of Arts.
WILHELM GRIMM (1786–1859) was a German author, linguist, and folklorist who, along with his older brother, Jakob, published Children's and Household Tales in 1812. Popularly known as Grimms' Fairy Tales, this collection was continually revised by the brothers and ultimately included 210 folk tales, among them many that have become famous around the world.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I have read both the German original and the English translation. Both are hauntingly beautiful. A treasure, to be sure. For those who may be turned off by the supposed 'adult themes', this story is no more sad and violent than the more traditional Grimm fairy tales - in the original Cinderella, for example, the stepsisters are caught cutting off their toes and heels in an attempt to fit into the slippers.
When I was a child I would read this book with tears running down my cheeks. I would become lost in the pictures, finding something new within the story each time I read it. Now as an adult, I find 'Dear Mili' equally moving. It is a rich and timeless tale that explores important issues that are relevant to both adults and children alike. Although it is a sad story, its message is ultimately one of hope and triumph through difficult times.
When I was little my grandmother would always read me this book before I went to bed. I think the pictures were my favorite part but whatever it was brought me back to her attic searching for it through cobwebs and dust. Many hours later and among the several thousand other books I eventually found what I was looking for. Dear Mili now sits atop my bookshelf where I now sometimes read it to myself before I sleep. This is a perfect book for all people of all ages. Children will love the pictures and adults will love the story.