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Outside Over There

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,611 Ratings  ·  301 Reviews
With Papa off to sea and Mama despondent, Ida must go outside over there to rescue her baby sister from goblins who steal her to be a goblin's bride.
Paperback, 40 pages
Published February 28th 1989 by HarperCollins (first published 1981)
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Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakThe Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric CarleThe Giving Tree by Shel SilversteinGreen Eggs and Ham by Dr. SeussGoodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Best Children's Books
374th out of 3,655 books — 5,326 voters
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis CarrollThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsFear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. ThompsonCoraline by Neil GaimanHouse of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
Trippy Books
61st out of 471 books — 649 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Aug 22, 2009 karen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kiddiwinx
this is the only thing my summer class was useful for: it tipped me off that this book existed. for future reference, if there are books that exist that were the source material for childhood favorite movies of mine, i need to be informed. in a timely manner. not twenty years later, thats just humiliating. greg gave me this one years ago, so he is off the hook: outside over there is terrifically creepy, and it may not have the purple spandex-clad david bo ...more
Jun 26, 2011 Cathy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYone
I don't know why this lovely book has been challenged and/or banned. It is absolutely beautiful. In fact, so beautiful and appealing that it was a Caldecott Honor Book in 1982 (yay Maurice Sendak!!!!)

I LOVED reading this book to my children when they were smaller. Recently I gave them each their own copy for their Hope(less) Chests, so that they can read it to their own children.

My children are all in therapy and take strong psychiatric medicines due to their fear of being exchanged by goblins f
Skylar Burris
Jul 14, 2008 Skylar Burris rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
I read this to my young daughter without previewing first, and regretted it shortly into it. "I don't think we'll read this one." "Why not?" "It's too scary." Always a bad word choice - then she definitely wants to read it...and read it we did. Before bed she expressed deep concern that the goblins would take her stuffed Pooh bear away. (Her baby brother, however, she was not concerned about for some reason.) The next day she spent an hour pretending to rescue her "babies" from the goblins.

Dec 02, 2009 skein rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ariel
Much as I hate interpretations of artists based on their books, I've got to say - Sendak has got some serious problems with women. The other two books in this trilogy (Where The Wild Things Are & In The Night Kitchen) focus on boys, boys who are wild and crazy and mess things up and take chances and play, play, play! with no real consequence because boys will be boys and that is the way of the world. They fall in and out of their clothes and wander about with arrogant nakedness, they create ...more
“Outside Over There” is a Caldecott Honor Book from the creative mind of Maurice Sendak about how a young girl named Ida must save her sister from a band of goblins. “Outside Over There” may have some scary images and the theme of child kidnapping, but it is still an excellent book full of adventure that many children will love.

Maurice Sendak’s story about a young girl rescuing her little sister is highly creative as it is written in a wonderfully surreal way that makes the story highly interes
Lisa Vegan
Nov 18, 2009 Lisa Vegan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: Chandra
Oh, no no no no. Not for me. Well, I feel as though there is something the matter with me but I didn’t much like this story. I think I need to read this to some children and see their responses. I confess the only reason I gave Where the Wild Things Are four stars is because over the years, as an adolescent and as an adult, I’ve read it to many children, and their enthusiasm has been contagious. If I’d read it in a void I’d have also given it two stars only.

I think I’d have appreciated the illus
Dustin Crazy little brown owl
Jul 05, 2013 Dustin Crazy little brown owl rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Wierdos
Recommended to Dustin Crazy little brown owl by: Wierdos
This is a freaky childrens book wherein the baby is stolen by goblins who want to make the baby a goblin bride. Big sister rescues baby, finding out the goblins look like babies too except they wear cloaks.
Big Sister uses a horn to make the goblin babies dance "slowly first, then faster until they couldn't breathe." The goblin babies are lured into a churning stream.

Baby was found cozy in a big eggshell.

The whole time mom is depressed because dad is a sailor away at sea. Mom sits on a bench fo
May 01, 2008 Miriam rated it it was amazing
This deceptively simple mythopoetic tale of a sister rescuing a baby from the goblins is powerful and disturbing in the manner of dreams.
Aug 08, 2007 Malbadeen rated it did not like it
Dr. Mr. Sendak, Please seek therapy elsewhere and stop scaring the hell out of me!
Cindy Benabderrahman
Apr 20, 2009 Cindy Benabderrahman rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those who are afraid
This is the story of how Ida’s little sister, who can’t hardly be two years old, is snatched up by goblins and taken away to Outside, Over There to be a goblin’s bride. They leave an ice changeling in her place, and when she melts, Ida realizes what has happened. However, Ida’s father is at sea, and her mother is pining away for missing him, so Ida climbs out her window backward to Outside, Over There, and rescues her sister from the goblins, who, without their hooded cloaks, look exactly
Jan 30, 2013 Megan rated it did not like it
I rarely do a review on childrens books but I felt it necessary to write one on this book. This is APPALLING! Firstly, the pictures are revolting - they look like dead babies - when you're reading it to a pre-schooler, this is something that needs addressing as young people use visual clues to understand the text, and the illustrations in this book scared my son. Secondly, the writing is very poor - particularly disappointing when it's written by a world renowned author such as Maurice Sendak. I ...more
Nov 04, 2014 Luann rated it it was ok
I see why this won a Caldecott honor, but I found the pictures just a touch creepy. Although I'm sure that's how they were meant to be since they really fit the mood of the story. Everybody's head and feet are too big, and there are a LOT of bare feet and naked babies! I did like the multiple views shown out the window of the girl's room and while she was flying around "outside over there." And I did like this better when I found out it was the inspiration for the movie Labyrinth. Still, this is ...more
Oct 03, 2008 Lafcadio rated it it was amazing
This book fascinated me as a child. In struggling to wrap my brain around the writing style, I recognized it, along with the illustrations and the story itself, as an element of the eerie beauty of the whole.

The story line, the illustrations, and the writing style are all creepy and unsettling, yet I could not take my eyes away. It has been years since I read or even thought about this book, but the excerpt from the never-ending book quiz sent chills down my spine anew.
Carly Allen
Nov 25, 2012 Carly Allen rated it it was ok
Leave This Book "outside over there"!: Not one of Sendak's best in my opinion. I'm a huge fan of Where the Wild Things Are, but Outside Over There lacks an appeal to children in its text and storyline. It’s short and honestly a bit boring. I was somewhat disturbed at babies being “married” and kidnapped by goblins and I smaller children would probably find it a bit scary. I think the book was probably intended for a second or third grader, but the text and word choice is a bit much for someone o ...more
Dec 31, 2011 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
I had decided that I must have a copy of this when I found it on a list of the "most disturbing children's books of all time." The reason? Goblins steal her baby sister and try to have a goblin wedding with her as the bride . . . And it's the basis for the movie LABYRINTH! You say disturbing, I say, Awesome!

Finally got a copy, and it did not disappoint. Aside from the gorgeous art, the story is delightfully strange, and left me not disturbed, but wanting more!
This seems to be a book that most people either love or hate (based on the reviews I just skimmed.). Hate may be too strong a word for my reaction, but I certainly didn't enjoy it. I am sure it has meaning or value for some. But I find it troublesome. The father is away at sea, the mom depressed (in the arbor is what the text says), and Ida is watching her baby sister. Ida is described as making a serious mistake, never watching, foolish and sly. Descriptions that would typically make me feel un ...more
Jun 14, 2012 Katie rated it really liked it
Excuse my lack of eloquence when I say the first thing that I thought while reading: "WHOA."
This is a dark, nightmarish story, in which the late, SO-great Sendak specialized. The illustration of the ice-child, the frozen changeling put in place after the protagonist's sister is kidnapped by goblins hoping to make her their child bride, is downright horrifying. Sendak had his finger on exactly the pulse of what makes childrens, and hence humans, tick. What they hope for (food! dancing beasts! es
Feb 07, 2016 Dolly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
We've read all of the Caldecott Medal-winning books, so now we're working our way through the Caldecott Honor books.

I have to admit that I've never been a huge fan of the late Maurice Sendak's books. Somehow I just don't seem to 'get' them. And once again, I feel the same way about this book.

The illustrations are colorful and very nicely detailed, and the pictures themselves are fun to look at. I loved the gardens and the realistic images of babies.

But the story just didn't do anything for me
Madison Snow
Mar 30, 2014 Madison Snow rated it did not like it
The cover of Outside Over There shows two sisters playing in a garden. The girls are very realistic looking and the rest of the scenery shows great detail. The story takes us on a journey with Ida. Her baby sister is kidnapped by goblins and Ida needs to bring her home. As she goes to find her the story can become confusing. Ida eventually gets her sister back from the goblins and takes her back to her mother. The family receives a letter from their father saying to take care of her sister. The ...more
Aug 18, 2007 Jessica rated it it was amazing
With In the Night Kitchen, among my favorite children's books. Gorgeously illustrated, the story of how Ida loses, then finds and rescues, her baby sister from the clutches of goblins, while her mother pines for their father at sea, has all the qualities of a dream. Stunning, elusive, epic, Sendak doesn't shy away from showing a child's deepest fears, and revealing her deepest strengths, and he's not afraid of ambiguity either. If I had all the money in the world, I'd buy all the original artwor ...more
Mar 25, 2016 Matthew rated it did not like it
Ummm.... Yeah I read this book over and over, and each time I hated it more and more. I was really excited to read this because it's by Maurice Sendak (author/illustrator of Where the Wild Things Are). I can't believe it was a Caldecott Honor Book. The illustrations are horribly disproportional, I mean the babies head is at least as big as the adults in the book, and everyone has hobbit like feet. I wouldn't have a problem with this, if it weren't for the illustrations trying to depicting the ch ...more
Jubilation Lee
GOD I'm glad I didn't read this as a child -- the image of Ida clutching a frozen changeling ice baby as it dripped and stared would have given me nightmares for life. It's way good, though. ;)
Jessica Bird
A surreal tale of Ida whose little sister is stolen away by goblins while she plays her wonder horn and how she rescues her.

A central idea running through the book is about Ida facing up to her responsibilities in the absence of parental authority as her father is sent away at sea. This causes her mother to becoming neglectful, consumed by her own grief!

The illustrations add a plethora of symbols to surround Ida's journey. The art is needed for the story as it reflects the mood and unwritten a
May 24, 2016 Amalie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: adults, mainly
How to sumup this story: unusual, facinating, odd, surreal, beautiful, disturbing, ambiguous, overanalysed..... The point is (I think ) this story carries the same qualities of the original Grimm fairy tales, plus it teaches children to be responsible, to be alert, and to love their younger siblings.

Also just like the traditional fairy tales, there are hidden massages. I guess it's up for the reader to understand them.

*kidnapping a child
*child negligence (mother had no idea where the children we
Linda Lipko
Hauntingly beautiful illustrations fill page after page of this story driven by wonderful art work.

Poor Ida has a father who is away at sea; Poor Ida has a mother who is absent from parenting and sits in the arbor, with a glassy countenance and forlorn expression, little is in her consciousness but sadness.

While Ida tries to quiet the baby by playing her wonder horn to rock the baby to sleep, she turns her back and goblins enter in the window, snatching baby to be a nasty goblins child bride.

Matthew Hunter
Jun 02, 2013 Matthew Hunter rated it it was amazing
Sigourney wasn't as captivated by Outside Over There as she was In the Night Kitchen. Maybe she was mystified by the story--Young Ida is jealous of her baby sister; she must help care for the baby while her dad's away; cloaked goblins steal the baby while Ida is looking the other direction; the goblins leave an ice sculpted changeling in the baby's place; Ida gets angry and goes to reclaim the baby; Ida overcomes distraction to take her sister back from the goblins who look exactly like the baby ...more
Elisha Condie
Dec 20, 2008 Elisha Condie rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
Some people think this book is super creepy, and I guess it kind of is, but we like it anyway. Big sister Ida has to rescue her little sister from the goblins who have kidnapped her (and they leave an ice baby in her place). The goblins look like little children themselves, and Ida plays her horn until they dance themselves into a stream know.

I hesitate to even tell people we like this book because like I say, its an odd book with a weird story. But both my kids have really like
Rachel Ball
Apr 15, 2016 Rachel Ball rated it did not like it
Bizarre and creepy. The story makes no sense. I hated everything about this book!
Jan 21, 2011 Deborah rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Sarah Bingham (for Jacob)
Sendak tells a creepy story of a young girl entrusted to watch her baby sister. Ida fails to do so and her sister is taken by goblins who have been lurking around the house and replaced with a changeling. Ida follows the goblins and finds her sister meant to be a goblin bride. Ida plays her horn causing the goblin babies at the wedding to dance until they turn into water. Ida saves her sister.

I remember this book from my childhood. The main thing I remember is how creepy it was. As an adult I st
Matt Vagts
Apr 23, 2016 Matt Vagts added it
Shelves: fantasy
Fantasy book #5
This book is about Ida. She plays her horn each night to make her baby sister sleep. One night while she is playing her horn and not paying attention to the baby, goblins sneak in through the window and steal her baby sister away, replacing her with a changeling made of ice. The changeling melts as Ida cradles it; and Ida, realizing what has happened, blows her wonder horn, dons her mother's yellow rain cloak, and sets off after her baby sister. However, because she exits the wind
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Maurice Bernard Sendak is an American writer and illustrator of children's literature who is best known for his book Where the Wild Things Are, published in 1963. An elementary school (from kindergarten to grade five) in North Hollywood, California is named in his honor.

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