I feel compelled to write a review in defence of this beautiful book. Sendak has told a story he originally wrote for Sesame Street as an animated short, which featured the voice of Jim Henson, it told the story of a little boy who had never had a birthday party and so his aunt agreed to have one with him and while she is out buying the cake, a group of pigs invite themselves round to have one huge party, creating mischief and fun, which Bumble Ardy had never experienced before then. When his aunt returned she is naturally horrified at the mess and promptly sends the pigs out in a fit of anger, however she forgives her son and kisses him 9 times, just as we had counted in and out 9 pigs -- the whole story was about teaching the value of 9. In this book, in Sendak's poetic style, he has created a little fable about taking chances in life, that if we don't live a little, we run the risk of looking back with regret at lost opportunities because we were too afraid of taking a chance, having that party in other words, telling someone we love them, being brave and honest with others and watching the positive impact that has on people! The book works out in the end, because Bumble is loved, and that is all that matters! So remember who has written this story, by an old beautiful man of 84, who has created in his life time great works of illustrative art, who has worked with some of the finest artists of his time and in this book, which may be his last, he reminds us, life is short, though it is filled with colour, joy and even fear, friends come and go, but at the end, if we are lucky, someone will be there, who says, "I love you" and kisses you nine times over nine. The illustrations are beautiful and magical, I love this new book!