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Maurice Sendak unerringly depicts real people and places and the magic beings in his father's fairy tale. In the drawings, one senses the artist's immutable love for his family and pride in his heritage. At age 75, Philip Sendak was mourning for his late wife Sarah. Before his death a year later, he wrote the pages that became this book, translated from "Americanism Yiddish" by Barofsky, whose notes give interesting background data on the text. The full flavor of the author's pithy, unstudied descriptions evokes laughter and tears and wonder. Sendak tells about growing up in a Polish-Jewish shtetl, leaving home, staying with a wise grandfather and sailing to America in 1913. Working in a factory, "I courted Mama every Saturday and Sunday," successfully. The couple settled in Brooklyn, where they brought up their three children and lived out their faithful years together. At Maurice's urging, Philip tried to write a story: "But nothing comes." Instead, the author added to his book this tale he had heard as a child at home. David is lost and crying for his Papa and Mama when a big bird appears. The bird flies the boy over terrain where he sees creatures big and small killing each other, symbolizing the lessons he learns when the flight ends at his grandfather's house. The kind old man explains the meaning of David's experiences with news about his Papa and Mama in the surprising denouement. Jews and gentiles, children and adults will discover meaning, as well, in the two stories that blend seamlessly into one parable.
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Grade 4 Up At age 75, a year before his death in 1970, Philip Sendak wrote down some of his father's stories in response to a request from his son, Maurice. The stories, translated from the Yiddish and combined into one tale, are presented in this small volume along with a short reminiscence of Philip Sendak's life. In a simple, straightforward style that reflects his Polish shtetl roots, Sendak tells of a young boy's fairy tale-like quest for his parents. Carried by a large bird from place to place, in true allegorical fashion, he witnesses a war between friendly giants and greedy monsters, is swallowed by a large fish and finds a brave runaway slave in a cave. He encounters little people who are rich in possessions but have no food and saves a sick man's flock from wild beasts. The boy finally visits his grandfather in heaven, learns the meaning of his travels and is returned to his parents. In Maurice Sendak's pencil illustrations, children glimpse the boy's grandfather watching over him. This strongly reminiscent piece of shtetl philosophy will most likely be better appreciated by adults who have gleaned such tales from parents and grandparents than by modern American children. Susan Scheps, Bertram Woods Branch Library, Shaker Heights, Ohio
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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