our book club reads happy books!

“Let the Wild Rumpus Start”

on May 8, 2012

  What a wonderful legacy the Caldecott Award winning author Maurice Sendak has left. He died today at the age of 83 and I couldn’t let the event pass unnoticed.  He has written and illustrated so many great children’s books, including “Where the Wild Things Are“, which of course I read to my children.

But the fondest memory I have of  Maurice Sendek is reading the tiny books of “The Nutshell Library” to my son. I was first attracted to this set of books because of “One was Johnny”.  Aren’t we all attracted to books that feature our children’s names? The rhymes in all four volumes were so simple and so fun to read – I never got tired of them.

Cover of "Nutshell Library (Caldecott Col...

Cover of Nutshell Library (Caldecott Collection)

Since it’s May, I’ll treat you to this one:
In May I truly think it best
To be a robin lightly dressed
Concocting soup inside my nest
Mix it once, mix it twice
Mix that chicken soup with rice

But my favorite by far, was “Pierre: A Cautionary Tale”. When my own Johnny was out of sorts and shouted “I don’t care!”,  I began responding, “who are you, Pierre?” He never liked it, and I never tired of it. To this day, when I hear the phrase, “I don’t care”, I think of Pierre fondly.

So it’s a sad day that we have lost the man Maurice Sendak, but his beautifully misbehaved children will live on.

‘He rubbed his eyes, and scratched his head
And laughed because he wasn’t dead.
His mother cried and held him tight.
His father asked ‘Are you all right?’
Pierre said ‘I am feeling fine,
Please take me home, it’s half past nine,’
The lion said, ‘If you would care
To ride on me, I’ll take you there’
And everybody looked at Pierre,
Who shouted, ‘Yes indeed, I care!’
The lion took them home to rest,
And stayed on as a weekend guest,
The moral of ‘Pierre’ is CARE!”

RIP Maurice Sendak and thanks for the wild rumpus!

Maurice Sendak, author of the children's book,...

Maurice Sendak (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


5 responses to ““Let the Wild Rumpus Start”

  1. Stacy Kutner says:

    What a wonderful send-off. As always Pat, you conjure the nicest of memories that stir in my heart. We also owned the little book set – and each of my children could recite most of “Where the Wild Things Are” by heart. I loved in the end where mom still leaves dinner.. and it was still hot, which I always took as a subtle sign that it was a storm that passed quickly. For those who have not enjoyed it yet, I suggest you get out the video or CD of “Really Rosie” which is sung by Carole King – and includes the tales in the little library told as a wonderful story about a little girl trying to entertain the neighborhood kids. I cannot recite Maurice Sendak… but I can sing it! And even more important, so can my kids! A alligators all aroun, b bursting balloons, c catching colds, … In January its so nice, while slipping on the sliding ice, sipping chicken soup with rice… sippin once, sippin twice, sippin chicken soup with rice. And just think, I can now look forward to doing it all again with Jordan!

    • Thanks Stacy! I’ll have to check out “Really Rosie”. I’ve heard of it, but somehow never got around to listening to it. Maurice Sendak and Carole King – sounds like a winning combination.

  2. Pat Stephenson says:

    Really Rosie is my favorite too. Watch Stephen Cobert’s interview with him. Jan. 24 &25th, 2012, Was that Trisha Hartman on his show this week?
    Pat Stephenson

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