I Saw Esau: The Schoolchild's Pocket Book

I Saw Esau: The Schoolchild's Pocket Book

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by Iona Opie, Maurice Sendak
     
 

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Renowned for their collections of children's rhymes, the Opies have gathered here a sophisticated anthology of comebacks, riddles, and joke poems—all decorated with Sendak's wickedly humorous illustrations. Appropriate for adults as well as children, this saucy handbook is invaluable for use in the schoolyard, especially for those who tend to be shy, or for those

Overview

Renowned for their collections of children's rhymes, the Opies have gathered here a sophisticated anthology of comebacks, riddles, and joke poems—all decorated with Sendak's wickedly humorous illustrations. Appropriate for adults as well as children, this saucy handbook is invaluable for use in the schoolyard, especially for those who tend to be shy, or for those seeking recognition for being clever.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This inspired collaboration marries the earliest work of the Opies--British folklorists who for four decades charted the territory of childhood through schoolchildren's language--with new illustrations that show Sendak at his finest. With the shape and heft of a handbook, the volume is, in effect, a primer of children's humor and lore. Many rhymes are instantly familiar; others are less so--especially those with a British tinge. Merely perusing the Contents page, with such tantalizing listings as ``Guile-Malicious'' and ``Guile-Innocent,'' is a delectable exercise. Because the Opies' particular genius lay in mapping the verbal turf of children themselves--and not adults' often sanitized versions--the rhymes they collected portray not only the playfulness of childhood but its occasional crudeness and cruelty as well. For the same reason, they exude spontaneity and energy. Sendak's illustrations pick up this energy and add their own. His characters are, variously, mischievous, sprightly, gnarly and spectral, and possessed of a seemingly endless array of expressions. Appealing and immediately accessible, they are drawn in simple, clean lines that recall his early work and painted with a broad palette that ranges from rich russets to soft indigos. The text and art are seamlessly interactive: small figures chase each other around the type; larger illustrations mingle images from several verses. And Sendak's ability to create provocative psychological dimension is in full evidence as well. The sequence illustrating the ubiquitous ``Rain, rain, go away'' is accompanied by a series showing a child's mother gradually transformed into a protective tree; the figure pelted in ``Sticks and stones'' is a skeleton itself. The republication of these rhymes brings the Opies' work full circle; the book seems a satisfying culmination of Sendak's gifts as well. Ages 5-up. (June)
School Library Journal
K Up-- This is a new edition, with some few alterations in the text, of the earliest of the Opies' many books, and the one that initiated their lifelong research into children's games and verses. With a new introduction by Iona Opie, and the addition of brilliantly conceived illustrations by Sendak, the book is a delight for all ages. A section of ``notes'' explains the origins and some alternate versions of the brief rhymes, chants, and riddles that the Opies collected from children's sayings, taunts, counting rhymes, and schoolyard games. It is the voices of children echoing over the generations with the same banter, the same gross humor, and the same defiance of adult authority that gives the collection its universal quality. Sendak's drawings decorate the pages, with adults and children gliding and leaping through the book. Some of his figures are framed in more formal pictures, and all glow with color and energy, giving life and fuller understanding to the often cryptic comic verses. He captures the essence of childhood with its silliness, its love of action and violence, its secret delight in whatever adults think is rude and impolite. The combination of the Opies' work with Sendak's mastery of illustration for children, plus the fine quality of the printing and book production, make this volume a notable event in book publishing. --Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763611996
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
10/28/2000
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 7.25(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
3 Months to 18 Years

Meet the Author

Iona and Peter Opie were married in 1943 and worked together for nearly forty years, studying and writing about children’s lore and literature until Peter’s death in 1982. Among their collaborations is The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes. Iona Opie lives in England.

Maurice Sendak has created texts and illustrations for more than seventy books, which have sold millions of copies around the world. He has won numerous awards, including a Caldecott Medal for Where the Wild Things Are, and the Hans Christian Andersen Award for his body of work. He lives in New England.

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I Saw Esau: The Schoolchild's Pocket Book 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
psycheKK More than 1 year ago
This is one of those books that I picked up, years before my son was expected, just because the cover amused me. It helped greatly that Maurice Sendak was the illustrator, but it is an amusing book.  I don't want to give too much away, but in the introduction Iona Opie explains how this book came into being. She says the rhymes contained "were clearly not the rhymes that a grandmother might sing to a grandchild on her knee". However, for the past two Aprils, I have been choosing some rhymes out of this book to read to my toddler son for National Poetry Month. I've probably warped him for life, but maybe in a good way.