Friday, July 22, 2011

a (children's) book I love

Here's a book full of whimsy, truth and charm...

I'll Be You and You Be Me written by Ruth Krauss and illustrated by Maurice Sendak - Harper, 1954.

Ruth Krauss speaks the language of childhood fluently. Her playful way with words delivers a punch disguised as a dreaming pony, or a dancing rabbit. Krauss' partnership with Sendak is creative chemistry on paper. Delicate words and delicate drawings containing a force below their surface.

Sendak once explained, "I said anything I wanted because I don't believe in children I don't believe in childhood. I don't believe that there's a demarcation. 'Oh you mustn't tell them that. You mustn't tell them that.' You tell them anything you want. Just tell them if it's true. If it's true you tell them."

I can see that Krauss must have felt the same way; together they tell the truth, but they tell it in a language that belongs to everyone.

The book is a delight and joins my list of essential children's books.

I think that I'll grow
up to be a bunny
before I grow up
to be a lady.

When I read that I knew our home couldn't be without it!

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