WE ARE ALL IN THE DUMPS WITH JACK AND GUY by Maurice Sendak

WE ARE ALL IN THE DUMPS WITH JACK AND GUY

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 4 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

Harking back to Hector Protector (1965), Sendak again pairs two nursery rhymes; but this time, he penetrates deeply into society's ills in his elaborate visual extension of the words. "We are all in the dumps/For diamonds are trumps/The kittens are gone to St. Paul's/The baby is bit/The moon's in a fit/And the houses are built without walls." Sendak sets this first rhyme in New York, where homeless children are watched over by an increasingly agitated moon and where two wicked rats build a house of cards, play for the "poor little kid" (an appealing waif), and haul him, as well as the kittens, off to "St. Paul's Bakery and Orphanage"--which resembles Auschwitz (glimpsed more subtly in Dear Mili). In the second part, Jack and Guy, who have earlier ignored the waif's pleas for help, follow after: "Come says Jack/Let's knock him on the head/No says Guy/Let's buy him some bread..." There's much more going on in the extraordinary art, including allusions visual (Trump Tower, a Cheshire cat moon that maternally enfolds the kittens) and verbal (in dialogue balloons and newsprint that also serves as shelter). Dear Mili's exquisitely detailed paintings give way here to the freely drawn, more immediate style of I Saw Esau (1992); but the subtle orchestration of Sendak's ideas has never been more intricate, telling, or playful. Adults may question presenting serious topics to children in this imaginative form. Lucky children have seen homelessness, and worse, only on TV; the unlucky have lived it. In this beautiful, passionately concerned book, Sendak creates visual poetry, rich in symbolism, that goes to the heart of such matters better than any earnest description. Once again, he explores new ground and offers a masterpiece. (Picture book. 4+)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-06-205014-1
Page count: 56pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1993




MAURICE SENDAK, 1928-2012:

Children SWINE LAKE by James Marshall
by James Marshall
Children I SAW ESAU by Iona Opie
by Iona Opie
Children WE ARE ALL IN THE DUMPS WITH JACK AND GUY by Maurice Sendak
by Maurice Sendak
Children THE MIAMI GIANT by Arthur Yorinks
by Arthur Yorinks

MORE BY MAURICE SENDAK

ChildrenMY BROTHER'S BOOK by Maurice Sendak
by Maurice Sendak
ChildrenBUMBLE-ARDY by Maurice Sendak
by Maurice Sendak
ChildrenMOMMY? by Arthur Yorinks
by Arthur Yorinks