Outside Over There
That touch of reality in a child’s life is a child’s comfort. The child gets the sense that this person who wrote this book knows about me and knows the world can be a troubling, incomprehensible place. Maurice Sendak
Outside Over There is my favourite Maurice Sendak picture book (and his) – haunting, comforting, uncompromising – nobody else combined the real and the unreal so brilliantly. In his last interview, Maurice Sendak talked about how his stories reflected his childhood (but what a curmudgeon he’d become). Outside Over There is a tale of separation and siblings that features a creepy ice baby (pictured).
Sendak’s books can also be exuberant (In the Night Kitchen), spiritual (Dear Mili), and funny (Pierre, a cautionary tale). I like his vision of atoms dancing to form molecules from the first book he illustrated (when 19 years old), Atomics for the Millions: