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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Loving Tribute to A Brother
Although this book was written not only for Sendak's brother, but also his long-time lover/partner, it is as a brother that I wish to comment. My older brother -- my only living sibling -- is locked in the cruel arms of Parkinson's Disease, like Jack in this book, he is "a snow image stuck fast in water like stone." For me, it was nearly impossible to read this beautiful...
Published 21 months ago by G. Thompson

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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Odd, hard to understand.
Published 4 months ago by Marilyn Matheny


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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Loving Tribute to A Brother, February 5, 2013
By 
G. Thompson (Washington, DC USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: My Brother's Book (Hardcover)
Although this book was written not only for Sendak's brother, but also his long-time lover/partner, it is as a brother that I wish to comment. My older brother -- my only living sibling -- is locked in the cruel arms of Parkinson's Disease, like Jack in this book, he is "a snow image stuck fast in water like stone." For me, it was nearly impossible to read this beautiful book without thinking of the bond that exists between brothers -- he is the only person still living who has known me all my life and visa versa. The images in this book of the two brothers thrown apart by life with separate paths, yet uniting in the end embracing one another are so authentic.

I'm not sure that this is a book that young children will warm to, although the theme of final resolution, enduring love, and safety even with adversity are comforting. But I am sure that this book will become a classic within many families as brothers age and ancient bonds assume new power. This is a book to share with your brother, then to buy another copy to read and re-read yourself.
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I refuse to lie to a child. -- Maurice Sendak, February 9, 2013
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This review is from: My Brother's Book (Hardcover)
Maurice Sendak has sent us his good bye. He wrote it five years after his brother had died in 1995. He tells us so in the poem, that it is his snowghost's fifth anniversary. He knew he eventually would need to publish, as a matter of his sense of the cosmos. Closeness and separation are the human story, the continual wounding. Reunion is a mystical goal; he achieves it with his parting poem. His life, as are all of ours, was one of living love and interruption. His stories often have this separation, as does this final poem through the device of the new star cleaving the earth in two. He must have, in our finite lives, a resolution of enduring embraces. Imagination makes the mystical possible. For Sendak it is the divine touching of the by transcendent by the immanent. Or as Blake put it: "The Eternal Body of Man is The IMAGINATION...The Imagination which Liveth for Ever".

The first about this little book to strike us is its art. It is, in part, his thanks and farewell to William Blake. Somehow in the bowels of Brooklyn, he encountered Blake. No wonder here. Blake would have, as a supporter of the American colonies, (he was also a trouble maker) known Brooklyn (King's County to the Crown); and he is known there. They both had the Brooklyners' response to authority: rude noises. Like Sendak, Blake was both artist and writer. He said Blake was his great and abiding love, his first teacher in all things. He shared Blakes primacy of the child. This is not some romantic notion. They believed that the child has contact to the eternal through imagination.

Maurice and Jack's grandparents, Israel and Bulma, lived in Russian occupied Poland before the millennium; the one before the one we passed not long ago. They were the keepers of the mystical imagination for their children. Separation came as their children separated from Poland going to America in 1913, the same as my grandparents, all to Ellis Island.
Maurice's father, Philip, was an author, (so many of the old stories told from his tongue), settled with Sadie on Livonia Avenue to raise children that have nourished us ever since. As a child, Philip was always in trouble with authority. He voiced his father's and his own changes to the bible stories, giving them a tarty twist or two. Magic is ancient and evident in these rugged, non-erasable, but mildly irascible people. Just look at Chagall. Not so far from Blake, is he? Again, Blake: "The Whole Bible is fill'd with Imagination & Visions". Children of the shtetl all of them. If you nourish the imagination of the child instead of harshly taming it, the imagination is available for all of life, as it was for the Sendaks across generations.

In this book, his brother Jack, is Jack. Maurice prefers to be just "Guy". Try not to read too much into all this. Sendak never forgets, but he sprinkles rather than shovels.
"The Winter's Tale" inspires the sad riddle of My Brother's Book. That veteran stage-set designer, Sendak cannot resist dragging back Shakesbear's famous animal as a snapping monster of Bohemia. The two brothers Sendak, separated by death, are united in the two child princes, and doubly, because they later are reunited as kings.

These are not just a set of illustrations he has drawn and painted. They are the work of art, as inseparable from the words of the poem as is a libretto is from the music, or more directly, the sets from the opera. Sendak was a master designer of sets for the stage. Most of have seen only his books. He was a multi-media Guy, after all.

Sendak was the object of relentless repression by the people of repressed imagination, forever trying to ban his books. Another Blake parallel, as his first (and treacherous) biographer, Frederick Tatham, an Irvingite, destroyed the manuscripts he inherited from Catherine Blake because they were similarly objectionable.

Maurice Sendak said he aspired to a Blakian death, whom, on his final day, finished his work and drew a portrait of Catherine, burst into an extended joyful singing, and died.
The worthy review posted by Wulfstan brought this book to my attention; and therefore my thanks, yet again, to his eagle eye. This small volume is printed on quality heavy shiny stock to show-off Sendak's paintings; published by HarperCollins under the imprint of Michael di Capua, famous also for Jules Feiffer and for Maurice Sendak's friend and colleague Tony Kushner (who wrote the screenplay for Lincoln recently).

Thanks Maurice, for all you have given my little family. You made the world a bit better - your gifts will never stop.

I recommend and point you to The Happy Rain and Circus Girl, Jack's two early books illustrated by the younger Maurice.
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wild Thing, I think we'll miss you, February 5, 2013
By 
Wulfstan "wulfstan" (San Jose, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: My Brother's Book (Hardcover)
As many of you know, Maurice Sendak passed away into the Wild Place last year, at the grand old age of 83. He'll be sorely missed by all of us with a childlike sense of whimsy & imagination. His books really weren't for children as much as for the Child in all of us.

Besides "Where the Wild Things Are" he wrote about another score of books and illustrated many times that.

"My Brother's Book" was written as a memorial for Maurice's brother Jack (who also wrote children's books), but fittingly this final book also serves as a memorial for the author himself. The book also was written in memory of the authors partner, Eugene Glynn.

Is it another Where the Wild Things Are? No, of course not. Nor were any other of his books. Still, the illustrated poem is simply marvelous and fantastic with polar bears and dreams, gorgeously illustrated and perhaps a little haunting. Expect to tear up a little, and laugh at least once.

"Good Night/And you will dream of me".

Thanks Maurice.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely, Sorrowful, Poignant, Bittersweet..., July 11, 2013
This review is from: My Brother's Book (Hardcover)
This is one of those books that will stay with you long after you put it down. The illustrations are gorgeous and Sendak's poem to his brother Jack is both heartbreakingly beautiful and comforting "And Jack slept safe, enfolded in his brother's arms. And Guy whispered, "Good night..."

It's impossible not to be moved by this book, especially in light of Sendak's recent death. It so perfectly captures the unwavering loss felt at the death of a loved one - a loss that does not lessen with time, but instead becomes more acute as days turn into months and then to years.

As other reviewers have commented, buy one for yourself, for your sibling(s), for your friends. I can imagine giving this book as a gift to someone who has suffered a recent loss, as well. Comforting words are so difficult to find when someone we care for is grieving. This book, instead, offers a deep understanding that can only be found among those who have loved deeply and mourned with passion.

Finally, it must be noted that this book is beautifully constructed, as well. With gorgeously heavy paper, forest green cloth-covered and embossed boards, and a dust jacket that is both delicate and substantial - this is a book that begs to be held and caressed. I realize that may sound a bit heavy handed to some readers, but fellow bibliophiles will be nodding in agreement.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a small gem, February 16, 2013
By 
LW Raboys (Massachusetts) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: My Brother's Book (Hardcover)
A precious gift for yourself or someone else. A gem filled with lovely Sendak images that make you want to just sit and hold it. As an artist I find his paintings inspiring. As a human being, I find his words inspiring, even though some of them make absolutely no sense to me... the emotion behind them does.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book! You will be Missed!, February 15, 2013
By 
Bruce Sobocinski (Shavertown Pennsylvania) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: My Brother's Book (Hardcover)
My brothers book is an immensely touching book. I read this book and did not expect to feel such emotions, but it is a great read. The imagery Mr. Sendak uses in this book are absolutely break taking. He writes in such a unique style, and keeps you reading and thinking all the way to the end. I will be buying a copy of this book for my family members to read. I feel the theme of this book is everlasting love and feeling such safety inside your family web. Great book!

RIP Maurice Sendak.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sendak's book is beautiful, as well as sad about the story of two brothers., July 2, 2014
This review is from: My Brother's Book (Hardcover)
Be forewarned: MY BROTHER’S BOOK (Harper Collins) by Maurice Sendak is not a children’s book. Rather, it’s the acclaimed author’s last, posthumously published book that is an eulogy for his brother Jack; for his partner of 50 years, Eugne Glynn; and for himself as well.The story follows two brothers, Jack and Guy, who are separated by a new star’s smashing to the earth. To find out if they survive to be reunited, you’ll have to read the book.It’s beautiful, as well as sad.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars, July 1, 2014
By 
Marilyn Matheny (Minneapolis, MN USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: My Brother's Book (Hardcover)
Odd, hard to understand.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Looked forward to this one but...., March 18, 2013
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This review is from: My Brother's Book (Hardcover)
Not quite so clear in its meaning and references (to me, anyway) Excellent presentation , something to go on reading for meaning
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4.0 out of 5 stars Book Review: My Brother's Book by Maurice Sendak, March 9, 2013
By 
Jaime (Saint Petersburg, FL) - See all my reviews
This review is from: My Brother's Book (Hardcover)
When I heard of Maurice Sendak's death in 2012, I was mostly unfazed. I really didn't know much about him. I remember, Where the Wild Things Are fondly enough ... however, it was too long ago to invoke much emotion.

Then I listed to his final interview with Terry Gross on NPR's Fresh Air. What I heard was a lovely, old man with so much sorrow in his heart. Sendak expressed his sorrow for the people in his life who have passed on and how he was glad that he would go before Terry, so that he wouldn't have to miss her. The sweetness of him made me cry.

​My Brother's Book is the final book written by Sendak. It is filled with a longing. Though,he was a devout atheist -- to his dying day --and did not believe in an afterlife, this book expresses a deep desire to be with the ones he loved. The brother of this book, Jack, is the characterization of Sendak's brother of the same name.

I believe differently than Sendak, I am not an atheist. I'm a aww-who-the-hell-knows-ist, so when Guy (the second brother - and representation of Sendak himself)finds peace with Jack. My heart is glad. I hope that Sendak has found that same peace.

Now, let us dry our eyes and let the wild rumpus begin.

For more reviews, please visit iamjanesheart.com
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My Brother's Book
My Brother's Book by Maurice Sendak (Hardcover - February 5, 2013)
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