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Brundibar Hardcover – October 14, 2003
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From School Library Journal
Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Top Customer Reviews
Sendak and Kushner have created a story that fulfills several needs. It tells a story that has links to horrors unimaginable. At the same time, they have created a whole new text that deserves examination. That and it's darned purty. The pictures in this book are amazing, filled with tiny details that make a person think. When the brother and sister gather 300 children with them for aid, a Kilroy character holds a sign saying, "People are happy helping. It's never hard to find help. It is only hard to know that it's time to ask". The fact that Kilroy is best associated with the American GI forces in WWII may or may not be important to the scene. At any rate, it sparks dialogue. The book is Sendakian in the extreme due to the odd combination of realism and outright peculiarity. The ice-cream seller is going to give me nightmares for months, I'm sure.
I don't think this is necessarily a book for children. And there is nothing wrong with that.Read more ›
The backstory of the book--the fact that it is based on an opera written by the children of Teresienstadt concentration camp--is hinted at very subtly. If one is aware enough to pick up the clues (ranging from a gateway that reads "Arbeit Macht Frei," like the entrance to Auschwitz, to the yellow stars marking Jewish characters, to the barely legible program from the premiere of the opera, behind a handwritten note), the story is there. I found it gave the story a depth and resonance that stayed with me. If, on the other hand, you don't know about it--I certainly wasn't going to point it out to my kids, just yet--the book still works beautifully.
All in all, this is a beautiful work from two of the most remarkable artists who have been active in American popular culture in the last fifty years.
Like other Sendak works, this book has several levels. It's a great kids story about bullies and how they can be dealt with. On a more adult level, its about how WWII and the Holocost affected the children of Europe, christian as well as jewish.
The text is adapted by Kushner from the libretto of the Opera by the same name. While the words stand up well on their own, the book flys on the wings of Sendaks wonderful art. Several stories are told within the story if the reader pays close attention to the details present in every illustration.
This book is destined to be a classic. (...) and buy a timeless piece of art from people who helped define the artform of the picture book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is not for young children. The writing and illustrating are a mockery. Sendak is more mature and less cartoon like but far too complicated.Published 24 days ago by Persop
A picture book for children based on a Czech opera which was performed by the children at Terezin, a Nazi concentration camp. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kathy Davie
i don't know why but i expected a lot more from this book. so my lackluster review might be unfair, since it relates more to my own expectations than to the book itself...Published 9 months ago by Y. P. Cruz
An all-time children's classic by a great writer with great illustrations by a great artist.Published 15 months ago by Bob Schwartz
Excellent. Very different from other books with Maurice Sendak illustrations! Book is based on a Czech opera completed in 1938, which was performed 55 times by the children of... Read morePublished on January 7, 2014 by Hilary Rahamim
This is a beautiful book and worth much more than I paid for it. The illustrations are beautiful and the text by Tony Kushner is great.Published on September 10, 2013 by Jana
It's an excellent book. It is well written, well illustrated and tells a very important story in allegorical form. I would recommend this book to all age groups.Published on August 14, 2013 by Helen H. Pierce
A charming telling of the Brundibar story with Maurice Sendak's wonderful illustrations. This little book is a delight to be enjoyed by children and adults alike.Published on June 13, 2013 by Barbara Sethmann
We have truly lost an author who managed to express his looks on children on paper, art and words, and he is Maurice Sendak. Read morePublished on July 7, 2012 by SkyHeart