'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday, 27 May 2011

Review: Outside Over There

When Papa goes way to sea, young Ida spends time helping her mother look after the baby. But when Ida isn’t looking, the goblins come and steal and the baby and leave a changeling in its place, as cold as ice. Ida smashes it to the floor then rants and raves as the rolling ocean outside the window also takes on a vengeful, thundering state.

Slipping into her mother’s rain coat, Ida slips out the window – into Outside Over There – to find her baby sister. As she looks, she hears her father’s song drift across the sea, telling her to play a tune on her wonder horn, to help her find the baby.

Clever Ida tricks the changeling goblins with her enchanting music and finds her baby sister. Taking her home, swears she will watch over her charge much better from now on. She is, after all, a big girl now.

Filled with strange and poetic prose, this Sendak book is quite a departure from his other books. Featuring beautiful, Renaissance-style paintings of swirling capes, milling clouds, banks of woodland and raging seas, the images would thrive in the world’s great museums, yet here they are encapsulated in a children’s picture book.

Odd, beautiful and quite haunting, the story also has a warm ending with a well-hidden moralistic message. This is not my favourite Sendak book but it’s still a classic keeper.

Title: Outside Over There
Author/Illustrator: Maurice Sendak
Publisher: Red Fox, $19.95
Publication Date: 1 February 2002
ISBN: 9780099432920
Format: Soft cover
For ages: 4 – 8
Type: Picture Book

Buy this book online now!

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