Or There Must Be More To Life
illustrated by
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Maurice Sendak's books have been, right along, projections of concepts rather than pictorializations of plots, so that it is almost gratuitous to hail his arrival as an author; but this tidy little package, despite its size and shape, is not a picture book, nor is it, like Hector Protector an elaboration of Mother Goose for little children - there is more to life, and his supple style matches his consummate skill as an artist. "You have everything," the potted plant reminds Jennie the terrier as she prepares to leave home," and Jennie replies, "There must be more to life than having everything." What she lacks, Jennie discovers when she applies for the Job of leading lady in the World Mother Goose Theatre, is experience. As the new nurse hired to feed Baby, she is a failure, and, she isn't even eaten by the lion like the other unsuccessful nurses, but she does stick her head in the lion's mouth, and that, as someone says, is an experience! She also saves Baby by inadvertently guessing her name--Mother Goose--and it is Baby-become-Mother-Goose who appears to welcome Jennie as the leading lady in "Higglety Pigglety Pop;" the play follows (in pictures). If there is more to life than having everything, there, is also more to life than having nothing; Jennie's farewell letter to her old master is written from Castle Yonder. In synopsis, this sounds both more and less ambiguous than it is -- you can't compress the reverberations into a review, and certainly not the ominous illustrations; it may by-pass some adults because Sendak speaks directly to the elastic imagination of children.
Pub Date: Oct. 11th, 1967
ISBN: 006028479X
Page count: 92pp
Publisher: Harper & Row
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1967

MAURICE SENDAK, 1928-2012:

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