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A Very Special House Hardcover – November 13, 2001


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 1 pages
  • Publisher: HarperColl; n edition (November 13, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060286385
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060286385
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 8.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,023,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Now in its second season, HarperCollins's reissue of 22 Sendak classics continues. This time, his collaborations with Ruth Krauss take center stage. In Charlotte and the White Horse, first published in 1955, creamy pages frame Sendak's softly lit illustrations of a girl who convinces her father to keep a wobbly legged horse and cares for him until he can stand on his own. Sendak's delicate watercolors suit the dream-like mood of a boy who accomplishes all that he sets out to do in his imaginary world, in I Want to Paint My Bathroom Blue (1956), also by Krauss. A boy's imagination also comes to the fore in A Very Special House (1953) by Krauss, as the artist depicts the hero creating a home filled with a turtle, a giant, a very old lion and "some monkeys and some skunkeys." Oversize pages brim with the creatures as well as his house's "very special" furnishings. Open House for Butterflies (1960) takes a similar format to these collaborators' classic A Hole Is to Dig, and lastly, Hector Protector and As I Went Over the Water: Two Nursery Rhymes (1965) by Sendak conveys as much plot through the artist's wordless spreads as with the minimal text. For collectors and budding readers alike. Nov.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

Most, most special indeed! What fun! Sheer nonsense in text and pictures, the inimitable drawings of Mr. Sendak. -- Saturday Review

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 13 customer reviews
I've got nothing more to add- this is just the best!
A. Frank
I loved it . . . I could recite it perfectly by the time I was 5 or 6.
Kate M.
Great rhythm by Krauss, fantastic illustrations by Sendak.
Casey Z.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Niloc Regne on March 29, 2000
Format: Library Binding
This book came to our family as a hand-me-down from a neighbor for my 2-year-old son, and now we can't live with out it. The rhymes are so witty, entertaining and infectious that I can't tell people about the book without quoting verbatim. Krauss's playful use of language is eternally endearing and Sendaks quirky illustrations of chair-chomping lions and clumsy giants are a treasure. I had feared that this book would be out of print. Now that I have found it, I am buying it for every child (and parent) I know starting with my three-year-old nephew.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 5, 1998
Format: Library Binding
...and it's just a house for me me me
At first reading, somewhat bizarre. So read it twice! It grows on you; it grew into our favorite children's book. It screams to be read aloud; the rhymes aren't Seuss-ly annoying, and the rhythms are interesting.
"...they and I are making music
and we're falling over laughing"
The simple illustrations (Sendak, I think?) are great. Krauss's expressions of child-ego are true-to-my-memory, and rang bells with my kids. I could not afford books back then; fortunately our children's librarian had my taste in books (I don't recall any Berenstain Bears!); but this was one book I HAD TO OWN. It makes a very JOYFUL noise. Read it, then find a copy of Pete Seeger's or Woody Guthries' folk songs for kids... a perfect hour.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kate M. on August 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This was a Caldecott Medal winner in 1954. I think I got it as a Christmas gift a few years later. I loved it . . . I could recite it perfectly by the time I was 5 or 6. When my daughter was born, I got another copy, and it became a fast favorite again. It was lost in a move a few years ago, and my daughter, now 16, was mentioning the other day that she wished we hadn't lost it. I came out here to look, hoping that there might be a used copy I could get her for her next birthday, and wonder of wonders, there's a fresh new copy available. I'll have to read it a few times before her birthday, because I don't think she'll let me read it aloud to her anymore. Maybe she'll read it to me when I can't fall asleep.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 16, 2000
Format: Library Binding
I LOVED this book as a child, so much that I asked for a copy as a birthday gift as an adult. This is the most visually entertaining, linguistically exciting, playful and joyful story I ever read in a children's book. Sendak's simple illustrations are profoundly expressive and appropriate for Kraus' self-indugent imaginary escapade. Yes, to most people it probably seems a little bit weird, but if you have an imaginitive child in your life....BUY HIM OR HER THIS BOOK!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Reading today about Sendak's death, I went looking for this book today for friends-- it was always my favorite, and now it is my daughter's favorite as well. I find it hard to imagine someone taking the time and energy to complain about a book they spent a dime on (!) But like almost everything both Ruth Knauss and Maurice Sendak did-- this book is special-- and here's why: it teaches kids to think unconventionally and to see the world through their prisms-- and for every kid to embrace and value their own whimsical imaginations. So much of youth is spent teaching children to conform to a rigid, unyielding world. Books such as these are liberating and freeing (even to the parent, who can sometimes forgets what being a child is like). I'd recommend reading it again with a more open (less critical) mind and try to see how the authors tried to capture the adventurous spirit and imagination of the small boy-- and how that might also spark the imagination of your own child. And RIP Maurice Sendak, the author who probably most influenced our family in our collective pre-school years, but who will live on forever through the sheer magic of his books....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John Spritz on February 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was read to me when I was a tyke, back in the 1950s. Then in the 1980s I found it had been republished, in hardback, and I bought copies for myself and all of my friends with kids. And in the last decade I have been reading it to my own youngsters.

And you know what? There was something magical about the teaming of Ruth Krauss and Maurice Sendak (they got together on other masterpieces, too) that has never been equalled. I can recite most all of this book by heart, and every line is indeliby etched in my mind with the unforgettable images. In a world of books with "meaning," with "purpose," this is a classic reversion to the truth of childhood: nothing matters as much as goofiness.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jen H on February 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's wonderful to see this in print. Ruth Krauss and Maurice Sendak are a terrific combination: Krauss's narratives always endorse creativity and love -- in this case, because the house contains love, it necessarily supports the imagination and as a result contains the world. If you and your kids are fans of Harold and The Purple Crayon, this one is for you. Timeless!
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