Maurice Sendak, famous for his art and irreverent storylines in Where the Wild Things Are and Outside Over There, has written his first book in thirty years. Although Bumble-Ardy is a pig, he has a strong resemblance to Max, the little boy who ruled the wild things, but he seems to be missing some of Max’s courage.
After Bumble-Ardy’s parents “got ate,” he goes to live with his Aunt Adeline, who gives him his first birthday party. He is nine years old, and Sendak plays on the number –
To come for birthday cake and brine at ten past nine
His aunt leaves for work, and Bumble-Ardy throws his own wild party, inviting lots of “grubby swine.” The pigs are the wild things dressed in costumes – with pages and pages of Sendak’s art telling the story with few words. Of course, Adeline is not happy when she comes home to find “a mob of swilling swine.”
Sendak likes to add a little terror to the humor. Not for the faint-hearted, Sendak’s stories and art play on the child’s inner monsters. I met Sendak years ago, and he seemed as fierce in person, and a little sad – true to his writing.