We Are All in the Dumps with Jack and Guy: Two Nursery Rhymes with PicturesMaurice Sendak
Grade 2 Up-Sendak is back, bolder than ever, as he looks out to the problems of today’s world. He combines two little-known and unrelated nursery rhymes, taking advantage of their absence of story to interpret them with a wealth of detail and social commentary. In so doing, his visual images invite readers to become co-conspirators in the creation of the tale. From the dust jacket’s ragged and newspaper-wrapped children, depicted within a monstrous mouth that readers will discover is the moon, to the very last page, one must search for clues to bring meaning to the enigmatic text. (Most are in the form of newspaper headlines). The homeless children and kittens are watched over by the moon, which seems to insist that the youngsters take care of one another. The moon itself is transformed into a giant cat to save the kittens and a baby from the rats who steal them.
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