playing with paper

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wednesday In Writing: Outside Over There

Outside Over There, a Caldecott Honor Book published in 1981, has always been my favorite Maurice Sendak book. It is the final book in the trilogy that began with Where the Wild Things Are (1963) and continued with In the Night Kitchen (1970). This book features a heroine named Ida, and the illustrations are softer and more detailed. The story itself reads like a poem and ends with a letter.
"...and up the ringed-round hill to her Mama 
in the arbor with a letter from Papa, saying:
'I'll be home one day,
and my brave, bright little Ida
must watch the baby and her Mama
for her Papa, who loves her always.'"

Thank you to Bianca for sharing this quote last week. 
I laughed so hard I cried.
"Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.” Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it."

The Pen Thief posted a lovely example of an envelope (cover) illustrated by Sendak in 1966, as well as an image of the 2006 USPS Favorite Children's Book Animals postage stamp featuring a Wild Thing.


  1. It's so sad about Maurice Sendak. I hate that we wait for brilliant people to die to appreciate them (sometimes) but I am glad the brilliance existed in the first place.
    PS - I laughed a lot about that quote on Bianca's blog too :-)

    1. Whenever I am touched by a death, I am reminded to live in such a way that when I die, people will smile and say they were glad to have known me.