Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Making Mischief: A Maurice Sendak Appreciation by Gregory Maguire

"I won't attempt to name Sendak's theme. I will look at the body of his work casually, colloquially, admiringly, from several different approaches in order to show you what I see, and why I think the word genius isn't grade inflation." (4)

The author Gregory Maguire, of Wicked fame, sets out to show the world his long withheld appreciation of the work of Maurice Sendak. In Making Mischief, Maguire compares his art not only against other works of his own art, but also to such classics as William Blake and Chuck Jones and lesser known artists like Iona and Peter Opie and William Nicholson. While people familiar with art will probably get the most out of this book, the last chapters are enjoyable to everyone. In these, Maguire showcases the four popular categories (flying, reading, children, and monsters) that are noticably recurring in Maurice Sendak's works. In chapter four, Maguire picks his top ten pictures from Sendak's body of work. Finally, and probably the most eye-opening, is chapter five, which collects a hodge podge of Sendak's illustrations to retell the Caldecot winning story of Where the Wild Things Are. Fans of Sendak will definitely want to look at this.


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