Mr Rabbit and the Lovely Present by Sendak and Zolotow Analysis

Mr Rabbit and the Lovely Present is a 1962 picture book written by Charlotte Zolotow and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. Zolotow and Sendak were both giants of American picture book world. Mr Rabbit and the Lovely Present was also a Caldecott Medal Honor Book, so it’s interesting to look through a contemporary lens and see……

Higglety Piggelty Pop! or There Must Be More To Life Analysis

Higglety Pigglety Pop! or There Must Be More To Life is an illustrated short story, though some might just call it a picture book. The language is too sophisticated to count as an early reader, unlike the Mercy Watson series, of a similar length and also divided into chapters. Why divide such a short story……

The Scary Kitchen in Children’s Stories

Most often, kitchens in children’s literature serve as metonyms of familial happiness, but every so often you do find a scary kitchen in which not all is well. The kitchen is the perfect place for a scary scene because it is at once close to home (in fact the hub of the home) and contains……

Outside Over There by Maurice Sendak

This month I wrote a post on┬áTeaching Kids How To Structure A Story. Today I continue with a selection of mentor texts to help kids see how it works. Today I look closely at a picture book classic by iconic American author/illustrator, Maurice Sendak. Outside Over There is a mythic journey of the imagination, with……

The Symbolism Of Windows

Many children’s stories feature windows, whether it’s children gazing from windows, opponents framed by windows, yellow squares of light offering the solace of civilisation. Windows can be important to a plot but are also symbolic. They quite often function as a visual motif to show the audience what a character wants. WINDOW AS VEIL Symbolically,……

The Three Main Types Of Modern Myth Stories

First, what is meant by mythic structure? In everyday English, a myth is a story which is not true. In a myth, the surface level story is not true, but the symbols running through the story say something deeper about humankind. This is what makes it true. If you look at all the Ancient myths……

Swine Lake by James Marshall and Maurice Sendak

Swine Lake is a 1999 picture book by James Marshall, illustrated by Maurice Sendak. The humour is an example of ‘hero wears a mask’ transgression comedy. About the Author and Illustrator If you’re American, perhaps you’re familiar with the following series: The author and illustrator of the George and Martha series also wrote other books, and……

Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak Analysis

“Where The Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak is the picture book that changed picture books forever. Maurice Sendak Where The Wild Things Are (actual cover) Maurice Sendak Where The Wild Things Are (spoof cover from Better Book Titles) The picture book began to be understood,  after Maurice Sendak, as something extraordinary – a fusion of……

How To Write Underdog Stories

The underdog is very popular as a main character in fiction. But there are ways to write underdogs well as well as pitfalls to avoid. What Is An Underdog? An underdog story is a ‘David Beats Goliath’ story going back even further than Biblical times.Underdog stories are often rags-to-riches stories. (Cinderella stories)Another variation is the……