I was at the book store a couple months ago and stumbled across "Bumble-Ardy." I immediately picked it up to review for my monthly book review column in Palmetto Parent, Lowcountry Parent, and Upstate Parent magazines, as well as, The Post and Courier newspaper. Now I can put it online for everyone else. Enjoy.
By Maurice Sendak
For Ages 4 – 8
Maurice Sendak, pigs, birthday parties and morals. It's Sendak – need I say more? Rated 4.75 (Humor, Morals, Sesame Street)
For the first time in 30 years, a new Maurice Sendak picture book, which he has both written and illustrated, is on bookstore shelves. At 83 years old, the illustrations and text of his newest work are as vibrant, fanciful and detailed as “Where the Wild things Are.” Based on a 1970’s animated segment for Sesame Street, “Bumble-Ardy” is the story of a mischievous pig that has never had a birthday party. On his tenth birthday he decides to invite all of his friends and throw himself a party. But the wild masquerade soon gets out of hand.
As in many of Sendak’s books the tales are as much for adults as they are for children. The stories can be harsh and even offensive by some standards, but that is also what makes them touching and authentic. Children tend to see past the challenges and revel in the fantasy. “Bumble-Ardy” is no exception. Like his classic, “Where the Wild Things Are,” Sendak explores childhood exuberance and energy, as well as familial bonds that cannot be broken.
It took 30 years to get a new work of art from this master of children’s picture books and it is excellent. Let’s hope it is not his last.