75th out of 100 books — 5 voters
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When Maurice Sendak's father was 74, he encouraged him to write a story about his boyhood in a Polish-Jewish shtetl, and how he ran away from home to come to America. The resulting story is really a story within a story; aboout a boy named David whose beloved Granfaher dies and his parents disappear. Then the story becomes a fantasy of magical adventures with giants, little people, big and little fish, slaves and masters, and a giant magical bird that transports David throughout his journey, bot ...more
I enjoyed this book for what it is, which is a brief memoir of an old man who grew up in Poland before coming to the USA in 1913 - I wish there was more about that, actually. Then it is a made up story about a boy who flies on a bird and learns many lessons. I was very curious about what this book would be like, and I did enjoy it, but the writing was not the best. Surely if Philip Sendak was not Maurice Sendak's father, this probably would never have gotten published.
Apr 26, 2013 Alexa Hutson rated it liked it
This book is about a story that Philip Sendak told his son Maurice Sendak. The book is interesting because it tells a story about the telling of a story. The Grandpa in the book sits down with the kids to tell the story of a boy named David and his long journey. We all know of books and stories that are meant to teach lessons, but this book puts an interesting spin on it. As David goes on his journey, he encounters many fantasy-like situations. He learns something new from each of the situations ...more
A little challenging... it's very bittersweet, with more emphasis on the bitter perhaps. An old European folktale-ish story, of the rambling kind (think Pinocchio), without much of a takeaway. Perhaps this is better to read as cultural history (and I guess we're supposed to, given the Sendak emphasis) than as literature?
Jul 28, 2012 Paul Hankins added it
Philip Sendak's story/account as shared with his son, Maurice, who illustrates the story. A beautiful example of capturing the oral tradition for future generations. The length of the story makes for a potentially wonderful read aloud with a real payoff at the end.