Fantasy story in which Maurice Sendak expertly tackles some of the fears that arise in early childhood. Age group 3-6.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The story of 9-year-old Ida rescuing her baby sister from goblins with the aid of the magical music from her wonder horn is timeless and enjoyable and could happily slip in to any century's fairy tale tradition. And as with the very best fairy tales there is so much more beneath the surface if the reader cares enough to look.
As is proper, the first things you notice on opening the book are the illustrations and how slightly strange they appear. Extensive photo reference for the figures married to the fantasy landscapes they inhabit lends the book a surreal edginess. These illustrations avoid the airy cross-hatching of "Where the Wild Things Are" or the comic book boldness and flat colours of "In the Night Kitchen" (the two previous books in Sendak's loose trilogy). Instead "Outside Over There" is filled to bursting with sumptuous, velvety watercolours akin to Pre-Raphaelite paintings. Yet for all their painterly-ness and lovingly rendered seas, skies and foliage the pictures are not immediately accessible and they are not pretty. Rather, theirs is a stealthy beauty uncovered through scrutiny. I cannot look at them now without a tingle at the base of my skull, and a churning in my gut for the man's overwhelming talent.
The text is a different animal entirely, with a simplicity that hides the amount of work Sendak put in perfecting it.Read more ›