Monday, October 15, 2007

What Do You Say, Dear?

What Do You Say, Dear?
by Sesyle Joslin
pictures by Maurice Sendak
Addison-Wesley, 1958

I know it seems like we read a lot of Sendak, but there is just an endless parade of titles to be discovered. This one has to be the strangest I've seen so far. Quirky and delightful. I just love his stuff, the way he thinks about kids and the writers he hooks up with. Similiar to early Peanuts, his books touch on the cynical, subversive side of childhood.

You are picking dandelions and columbines
outside the castle. Suddenly a fierce dragon
appears and blows red smoke at you, but just
then a brave knight gallops up and cuts off
the dragon's head.

What do you say, dear?

Each situation is absolutely absurd, yet the answer to the question is always some delightful, everyday reply. Teaching manners through the wildest scenarios. Too funny! Not surprising though, as kids think in these type of outlandish story lines all the time. Also.... like the use in this picture of a bad cowboy holding a gun to a kid's head... you're not gonna see that flagrant sort of honesty in today's PC day and age.

Also by:
A Very Special House
Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present
Moon Jumpers
Pierre: A Cautionary Tale
Some Swell Pup
Let's Be Enemies
Chicken Soup with Rice
Lullabies and Night Songs
Outside Over There
I'll Be You and You Be Me
The Juniper Tree
Where the Wild Things Are
Seven Little Monsters
The Giant Story

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