Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Pierre: A Cautionary Tale

Maurice Sendak
Harper & Row, 1962

The winner of the latest Great Monday Give mentioned this in a comment today, so I thought I'd pull it off the shelf and do a write up. Published as part of The Nutshell Library (along with One was Johnny, Alligators All Around, and my personal favorite... Chicken Soup with Rice), Pierre is indeed a cautionary tale. I will give wee Pierre the nickname I use on my son sometimes... Captain Fussypants. When Pierre doesn't give a hoot about just about everything and fills his parents earlobes with the insufferable mantra "I DON'T CARE", a rather large lion comes along to set him straight.

Now, as the night
began to fall
a hungry lion
paid a call.
He looked Pierre
right in the eye
and asked him
if he'd like to die.
Pierre said,
"I don't care!"

This whole series is so killer and will probably stay in print for eternity -- available at fine bookshops most anywhere. I also recently revisited this NPR interview with the author from 2005. He has had such a fascinating life, and hearing him talk about Ruth Krauss makes me long for a mentor of my own. Plus, who knew Sendak is such a Mickey Mouse-of-old fan? The story behind that love affair is inspiring... and I just about died when he calls the Mickey of today a "fat whore". AWESOME.

Also by:
A Very Special House
Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present
Moon Jumpers
What Do You Say, Dear?
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


emily kate said...

My class and I watched the Scholastic video of this a few weeks ago and I loved it!

Sarah M said...

haha, that is sooo funny (present day mickey)

Thanks for the info! I love this site!

dawn said...

Love this one! I had totally forgotten about it. My little sister and I used to listen to this story on tape over and over when we were kids.
He has such lasting stories!

Marci + Dan said...

THIS is one of my favorite books (I posted about it a few months ago). I teach a bunch of three year olds once a week for two hours and they always request this book. Yes, I care.

carolyn rhea drapes aka chacal said...

Current (and very well done) analysis of this book and Sendak by the New York Review of Books; written after the passing of Mr. Sendak.

carolyn rhea drapes aka chacal said...

A very good and recent (8/26/12) article about this book and Sendak (written after his death) is on the New York Review of Books site:

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