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He showed us where the Wild Things were, wrote a few other acclaimed children’s books and then disappeared for 30 years. In truth, “disappeared” might be a bit of an overstatement given that Maurice Sendak has, in the past three decades, produced an animated TV program, designed sets for ballets and operas and worked with a playwright to turn a children’s opera into an illustrated book. Nevertheless, it has been 30 years since the author wrote and illustrated a new work of children’s literature.
That drought will come to an end Sept. 6 when a new Sendak creation, Bumble-Ardy, hits booksellers’ shelves. The book, which is available for preorder at Barnes & Noble , tells the tale of a piglet who some Sendak fans might recognize from his appearances on Sesame Street.
After eight years of overlooked birthdays, Bumble, as the titular character’s aunt calls him, finally gets an elaborate party on the day he turns 9. Unfortunately, Bumble’s party guests are rowdier than anticipated: “At nine past nine the piggy swine/ Broke down the door and guzzled brine/ And hogged sweet cakes and oinked loud grunts/ And pulled all kinds of dirty stunts.”
The phrasing and illustrations are vintage Sendak, so much so that I’m almost willing to exonerate the author for leaving us hanging since the early ’80s — almost.
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