October 10, 2007

The Animated Nutshell Library By Maurice Sendak

My mom gave the kid Maurice Sendak's Nutshell Library for Christmas last year, and at some point, it totally clicked with her. Not just because of the stories, but because of the scale. They're a box set of tiny little, kid-hands-size books, which she could fit in her own pocket, or her backpack. She'd carry one with her on the train, and we'd pull it out and read it, it was awesome.

Anyway, Andy pointed to the segments from Sendak's 1975 TV special, Really Rosie, where all four Nutshell titles appeared as animated songs that all took place on a brassy girl, Rosie's, street [Rosie was sung by Carole King.] The kid's two favorites:


and One Was Johnny

While I'm on the Sendak subject, I'll mention the rather cool cartoon version of In The Night Kitchen, too, which has an awesomely hep jazz soundtrack and a refreshingly subdued Peter Schiekele narrating:

The cartoons are all from a Scholastic DVD of Where The Wild Things Are, which is only $9 because it's only 35 minutes long. [amazon]
Buy the Nutshell Library, $11.50 [amazon]

Elsa's Favorite: "Chicken Soup With Rice"
Previously: The night Max wore his wolf suit and made movies of one kind


Go all the way ...
get the box set of Scholastic Videos

Best zombification gift my kids ever got. All of the videos have something cool ... from the obscure Janosch book "Panama" on the "Miss Nelson" DVD to the Meryl Streep version of Chrysanthemum.

Dan Savage has a cute story in "The Commitment" (also worth ordering from Amazon) about his son's obsession with the book "Pierre" and resultant desire to name their dog "Pierre."

[is that a different story than where he talks about his straight son wanting a french poodle, the gayest dog ever? -ed.]

I still am greatly baffled by "In the Night Kitchen." It reads like some kind of drug trip, and doesn't scan. The animated version does not provide any other impression; I was hoping the different medium would enlighten me.

All the other Sendak I've run into, I loved.

[no getting around it, Sendak's a weird dude. -ed.]

The Nutshell Library is a favorite in our house - fun to read and perfect for those nights when there just isn't time for a longer book.

My mom gave my husband "A Hole is to Dig: A First Book of Definitions" by Ruth Krauss and Pictures by Maurice Sendak. It was published in 1952 and is really, really fun to read and look at. The back flap gives this bio:
Maurice Sendak was born and raised in Brooklyn and now lives in New York City. After leaving high school, he studied at the Art Students League for two years and then tried his hand at many types of art work before he finally turned to illustrating books for children.

[he basically adopted Krauss and her husband Crockett Johnson. I imagine their Connecticut sailing life was an influence on his career choice. -ed.]

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