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Nutshell Library

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Overview

This 4-volume boxed set contains an alphabet book, a book of rhymes about each month, a counting book, and a cautionary tale all written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. Includes the titles Alligators All Around, Chicken Soup with Rice, One Was Johnny, and Pierre.(Titles available separately in library and paperback editions.)

"An alphabet book, a book of rhymes about each month, a counting book, and a cautionary tale are all written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. What more could anyone ask? ...

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Overview

This 4-volume boxed set contains an alphabet book, a book of rhymes about each month, a counting book, and a cautionary tale all written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. Includes the titles Alligators All Around, Chicken Soup with Rice, One Was Johnny, and Pierre.(Titles available separately in library and paperback editions.)

"An alphabet book, a book of rhymes about each month, a counting book, and a cautionary tale are all written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. What more could anyone ask? These books are truly for all ages."--School Library Journal. Includes Alligators All Around: An Alphabet; Chicken Soup with Rice: A Book of Months; One Was Johnny: A Counting Book; and Pierre: A Cautionary Tale in Five Chapters and a Prologue. Pictures in three colors. ALA Notable Children's Books.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060255008
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/28/1962
  • Series: Caldecott Collection Series
  • Edition description: BOXED
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 27,505
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 2.76 (w) x 4.00 (h) x 1.73 (d)

Meet the Author

Maurice 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.

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.

Biography

"I never wrote a book where I taught a lesson," Maurice Sendak once bragged in an interview. Fans of his lyrical, lushly illustrated picture books know Sendak has a far more important mission. Rather than instructing his young readers in proper manners, the man who's been called "the Picasso of children's books" has been a vital, expressive voice for children's feelings.

Sendak first honed his art as an illustrator for writers like Ruth Krauss and Else Holmelund Minarek. He explored different styles of drawing and painting, influenced by sources as diverse as William Blake, Randolph Caldecott and Walt Disney.

In the '50s and early '60s, Sendak began to write his own books, and to forge his own distinctive visual style. The most popular of the works produced in what he later called his "apprenticeship period" was The Nutshell Library, a collection of four tiny books (2 1/2 by 4 inches wide) that was instantly and enduringly popular.

His first mature work, Where the Wild Things Are (1963), was a watershed both in Sendak's career and the history of children's literature. It tells the story of a boy named Max, whose mother sends him to his room without supper, calling him a "wild thing." Max makes an imaginary journey to a land of monsters, where he's crowned King of All Wild Things. But his longing for comfort and security return him at last to his room, where he finds his supper waiting for him. Some adults were dismayed by the book's ferocious-looking monsters and its belligerent young hero. "It is not a book to be left where a sensitive child may come upon it at twilight," one librarian cautioned.

Despite the warnings, Where the Wild Things Are was a huge commercial success, and was awarded the prestigious Caldecott Medal in 1964. In his acceptance speech, Sendak seemed to address his critics when he said that despite adults' desires to protect children from "painful experiences," the fact is "that from their earliest years children live on familiar terms with disrupting emotions, that fear and anxiety are an intrinsic part of their everyday lives, that they continually cope with frustration as best they can. And it is through fantasy that children achieve catharsis. It is the best means they have for taming Wild Things."

In the following years, Sendak illustrated dozens of books, and wrote and illustrated several more of his own, including In the Night Kitchen (1970) and Outside Over There (1981), which he considered to be the second and third parts of a trilogy that began with Where the Wild Things Are. A lover of theatre, he has also designed and produced numerous operas, plays and ballets.

Though his work has sometimes been controversial, Sendak is now renowned for his ability to recall, depict and transform the painful realities of childhood into what John Gardner, reviewing one of Sendak's books, called "not an ordinary children's book done extraordinarily well, but something different in kind from an ordinary children's book: a profound work of art for children."

Good To Know

In 1948, Maurice Sendak and his brother Jack took six model toys to the toy store F.A.O. Schwarz, which they hoped would commission a set. The store turned down the toys, but offered Maurice a job as a window display designer, which he took.

Sendak wrote Higglety Pigglety Pop! Or, There Must Be More to Life, in tribute to his beloved dog. The book's protagonist, like Sendak's pet, is a Sealyham terrier named Jennie. Years later, Sendak got a German shepherd, who already had a name when he adopted it. The dog was named Max, just like Sendak's most famous character.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Maurice Bernard Sendak (full name)
    2. Hometown:
      Ridgefield, Connecticut
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 10, 1928
    2. Place of Birth:
      Brooklyn, New York
    1. Education:
      Art Students' League

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 18 )
Rating Distribution

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(14)

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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2007

    This book has it all

    Contains counting, rhymes, months, alphabet and lots more. As a child, 'Chicken Soup with Rice' was one of my favorite songs, and that is contained here, too.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2003

    Stories you will always remember!

    I loved all of the stories, but 40 years later, 'Pierre', is still my favorite. I plan to purchase these for my young nephew and for a good friend's daughter. I hope the lessons and memories will last a lifetime with them, as they have with me.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2002

    The Nutshell (literally) Library

    The Nutshell Library: A classic! I love these books! I was actually in Really Rosie, the play made up of these books! (I was Pierre-I-Don't-Care) It's witty, funny, and educational. The only flaw really has nothing to do with the book library itself, rather Barnes and Noble. I feel this collection is incredibly small for the price you pay. About $13 for 4 tiny books. I think not. :-) But, all in all, I give it 2 thumbs up!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2000

    These books are timeless

    I read these books to my students as a kindergarten teacher some 30 years ago. I am particularly fond of The Cautionary Tale:Pierre. Kids and adults of all ages can relate to it. I read these books to my own children when they were young and even re-introduced Pierre to my son in his late teens. (-Still seemed appropriate.) You'll enjoy these books at any age, if you're still a 'child at heart'.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 1, 2013

    absolute must

    The Nutshell Library is a classic & an absolute for any child's library. Children love tiny books & these will surely delight. The illustrations as in all Sendak books blend seamlessly with the story & each little book is a delight. Highly recommended

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  • Posted December 9, 2012

    A favorite with my children and grandchildren.  Strangely enough

    A favorite with my children and grandchildren.  Strangely enough, when my two-year old d granddaughter  insisted  on taking the boxed set to bed with her every night, not a page was torn nor were the dustjackets.

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  • Posted May 8, 2012

    One for the Ages

    Just read of Maurice Sendak's passing. To me, these four little books - much more so than the more widely referenced "Wild Things" - are the perfect representation of his greatness. After so many bed-time readings, I think all of us memorized "Chicken Soup with Rice," and Pierre is still one of my favorite characters from a children's book. Even the packaging is perfect - the tiny box with the witty illustrations featuring all the characters from the little books inside.

    Gone but not forgotten.

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  • Posted October 12, 2011

    Very highly recommended!!!

    These small wonderful books have been given , by me, to every new born in our family for the past 40 years. Every child seems to adore first, having the stories read to them and later, holding them comfortably in their own little hands and reading the stories independently. They are small treasures, filled with humor and wisdom.

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  • Posted April 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I have such great memories of these books!

    These were some of my favorite books when I was a kid. Despite the fact that our copies were battered from years of handling during my mother's childhood, I loved that they were small, just the right size for my own little hands. Maurice Sendak's illustrations were always welcoming, and the text, with its clever rhythm and rhymes, never failed to make me laugh. Even the lion eating Pierre was more amusing than scary, especially since I found Pierre just as annoying as the lion did! I'm so glad these are still available to buy, and I've given them as gifts to adults and children alike.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Classic books in a portable size.

    Our 2 and 4 year old grandsons enjoy the stories in this Sendak series. They also love the fact that they can carry the small books anywhere.

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  • Posted August 2, 2009

    This small collection is the perfect gift for any young child!

    Maurice Sendak's nutshell library is almost 50 years old, but it is still fresh and charming. These four little books are a perfect choice for a child from 3 to 6. With an alphabet book and a book of months and a counting book, the collection is a learning experience that is fun. The fourth book is a story about Pierre, who learns about the importance of home in a most unusual way. Although these four books are also available in larger formats, these four small books delight children, who enjoy the size and the little container which safely stores the treasures. Every family needs this lovely collection in their home library.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2003

    Info for Mr. Pew

    Just wanted to let you know that the Nutshell Library I have is published in October 1962.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2001

    Loved it when I was young, now I am reading them to my daughter!

    Seeing as how this was published in 1976. . . I enjoyed reading these some 24 years ago! (not 30 or 35)... Still wonderful, as all Sendak's work is!!!! Can't recommend it strong enough!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2013

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