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Higglety Pigglety Pop! or There Must Be More to Life

4.2  ·  Rating details ·  1,345 Ratings  ·  120 Reviews
‘A daring imagination has woven a simple rhyme into a brilliantly original tale [about Jennie, the Sealyham terrier, who seeks Experience and becomes the star of the World Mother Goose Theatre].' 'H. ‘Superb fantasy.' 'BL. Notable Children's Books of 1967 (ALA)
1968 Fanfare Honor List (H)
Best Books of 1967 (SLJ)
Children's Books of 1967 (Library of Congress)
Hardcover, 80 pages
Published May 22nd 2001 by HarperCollins (first published 1967)
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Jun 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone!
This is one of the most special books of my childhood, and admittedly an unusual one. This is a somewhat dark book for a child - really, it's not meant for children. It's about a dissatisfaction with the norm and with perfection, and the (often futile) quest to find "experience" and "something more." It's not a book with a heartwarming lesson, and it's actually quite surreal. Sendak wrote it to deal with the death of his beloved dog Jennie. I love this book dearly and recommend it to anyone goin ...more
May 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I must have read this book every night before bedtime for years and years of my childhood. There's just something so creepy and fascinating about it -- I think it's impossible to put your finger on it, but I remember being drawn to it even when there were plenty of new books to tackle. The illustration is particularly chilling. If it seems a little odd (or completely bizarre) when you first check it out, give it another chance. Sendak is a genius.
Dec 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've had this in my collection for, um, decades, but somehow it just kept missing me. Finally, I have grabbed it and finished reading it, though I tried to pretend it was going to go on forever (because I wanted it to never end).

This is Jenny.

 photo HIGGLETY PIGGLETY - jenny at the table_zpsjj5s9pgz.jpg

She is the very proud owner of one round pillow (upstairs) and one square pillow (downstairs). Her treasured possessions include a bottle of eyedrops, a bottle of eardrops, some pills, a comb and brush, and a red sweater. But Jenny isn't satisfied.

I am di
Lars Guthrie
Oct 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Don’t be expecting ‘Where the Wild Things Are,’ because this is wilder and far more quirky. If you are only familiar with the illustrative style Sendak uses in ‘Wild Things’ or ‘Night Kitchen,’ this will serve as a good introduction to a darker and more intricate Sendak, steeped in Doré and Dürer.

Jennie, a terrier who seems to pop up in other Sendak books, packs her black leather bag with gold buckles and is off on a mission to answer the question implicit in ‘Higglety’s’ subtitle. The answer is
Justyn Rampa
Jan 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
Sendak once again creates a children's book with very adult themes. Dissatisfaction with your life, clinging to the dream and possibility of what you could be, and what it really means to have everything. The story itself is about a terrier who has seemingly has everything but wants more. In particular, Jennie wants to be the leading lady in The World Mother Goose Theater. The book is rich and densely layered with the themes. The illustrations are intricate black and white drawings. It appears t ...more
May 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was one of my favorite books as a child and has remained so in my adult years. It is the longest of Sendak's works, perhaps because it covers so many themes: the meaninglessness of materialism, dissatisfaction with one's lifestyle, the value of unusual experiences, the cunning necessary to survive, the true "having it all."

5/8/12 - I reread it today, after learning Sendak had died. Jennie is based on Sendak's own dog, Jennie, and the book was written as her memorial. Even as a child, I rea
Nov 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
"There must be more to life than having everything!"

This book was recommended to me very recently by a friend who loves Maurice Sendak with all of his heart. So, I definitely expected something lovely, but was surprised by just how much this story endeared and moved me.

This book is:
-wisely written
-frothing at the brim with whimsy
-beautifully illustrated (I MEAN, COME ON! IT'S SENDAK!)
-full of good lessons

Also, there is a narration by Tammy Grimes that truly is remarkable. Her
For years and years I have tried to find a book I read as a child. It filled me with such a feeling of wonder, and I remembered that, but I couldn't remember much else. I thought it had "yonder" in the title, but when I searched and searched, nothing came up. I felt like there was a "fairy tale" or "Mother Goose" vibe, though I couldn't place it -- I had a strong recollection of Old Mother Hubbard. I thought I remembered an illustration of a girl, looking out over the land while sweeping a stoop ...more
Sep 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone -- adults and children
I found this book at a used book store. Many may be familiar with the author Maurice Sendak who also wrote “Where the Wild Things Are,” but this is not the same kind of book in many ways. From the lines of Mother Goose, Mr. Sendak elaborates a modern tale of multiple themes. Its comic surface is the tale of Jennie the Sealyham terrier, who packs her black leather bag with the gold buckles and goes out into the world to look for something more than everything. Besides the story, it is also the ma ...more
Sep 12, 2007 rated it liked it
This is the first (and the last, don't fret) book that I've never returned to the library. But I was a careless little kid then, so you can't blame me for it.

Anyway. Higglety Pigglety Pop is basically a kids' book. Where dogs talk to plants, cats drive milk wagons, lions eat nurses (wait, that could happen in real life...), and they all would... wait. I can't write the ending, right? Point is, they do things that only animals in fables do.

The moral of the story, however, in my opinion, is unlik
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is one of my favorite books from childhood. And who doesn't love Maurice Sendak? This is a slightly longer book and has some humor that I noticed my almost-5-year-old didn't get. We had to read it over two sessions. When I was a kid, my favorite illustration was the one where Baby is about to bite Jennie's tail. I've always loved this book!
Carol Irvin
Jun 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Love Maurice Sendak's books and this one doesn't disappoint!
May 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
The story is cute, but the art work is staggeringly good. Make me want to rush out and get a dog just like Jennie.
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I could not find an y info on this book to scan... but his is by far on of the most incredibly oddly,beautifully,illustrated books I've ever owned in my life.
It is both funny and dark, weird and wonderful, with Jennie the terrier who packs her bag and sets off to find..." something more than everything".
She finds the World Mother Goose Theatre, and things progress from there in a most bizarre manner that I can only advise you to enjoy this on your own.
Gail Sacharski
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books from childhood--brought back many good memories reading it again.
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
The audiobook by Tammy Grimes is a treasure.
May 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great sense of humor, fantastic art.
Mar 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I have thought about this book for years. I couldn't remember the title and though I had ransacked my parents' bookshelves, it wasn't one that had made the cut from childhood to empty nest.

I remember being fascinated by this book. I remember reading it, at about age 7, and being fixated on things - the dark theme, the deeper meanings I didn't understand, the illustrations.

I've been looking for this book for 22 years. All I could recall was a gigantic baby, an animal (I though penguin?) with a s
Higglety Pigglety Pop! or There Must Be More To Life is one of Maurice Sendak’s lesser known books. Sendak is of course famous for the children’s classic Where The Wild Things Are. This work is considerably longer than Where the Wild Things Are and is divided into chapters. Higglety Pigglety Pop! is similar to Sendak’s other work in its distinctive style of illustration. It also explores the features of the English language through a wide variety of descriptive elements that paint a picture alm ...more
Oct 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
The world is black and white in Higglety Pigglety Pop? or There Must Be More To Life by Maurice Sendak. Conveying a mysterious personified animal/ human world, the black and white leaves the reader the opportunity to fill in the holes. The text also leaves room for interpretation as motives are not completely explained and setting is never truly defined. The overall presentation feels half chapter book and half picturebook; there are moments when the illustrations are pleasant, yet unnecessary, ...more
Mar 16, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, read-2013
Aah, Sendak, writer and illustrator of 'difficult' children's picture books.

I was instantly hooked by the idea of Jennie the Sealyham Terrier (there turns out to have been a real Jennie the Sealyham to whose memory the book is dedicated) and Sendak captures her with aching beauty. Although it is an anthropomorphic tale, there is a very solid sense of dog.

It is difficult to know what to make of the story, as so often with Sendak. Jennie is dissatisfied with her 'perfect' life and leaves home sayi
Linda Lipko
Jennie the dog has everything a dog or man could ask for. Seeking adventure, she leaves her life of comfort. Meeting characters from the World Mother Goose Theatre, she longs to become a member.

Alas, she must first have real life experience and adventures. When she lands a job as a nanny to a spoiled baby, her adventure begins. Unable to get the baby to eat, previous nannies were eaten by the family lion. Instead, this time, the lion eats baby.

As the tale ends, Jennie joins the troup, the lion a
Jessica Strauss
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Like pretty much everyone else reviewing this book, I found it. I found it in a 30 yr old basement and picked it out of the many dusty books because it was curious. I had a hard time believing the book was real. It was so funny and morbid as if meant for adults, yet the mothergoose-ness implied the opposite. So, what I can say to you is do you like Edward Gorey? Do you hope your children will grasp Little Bo Peep to its full intention? Is your world fucked up and all you want is for a fearless p ...more
Jun 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I purchased a copy of this book while visiting the Rosenbach Museum and Library in Philadelphia which currently is exhibiting a selection of Maurice Sendak's original illustrations and papers from the 1960s. Higglety Pigglety Pop was written about Sendak's dog Jennie and her fictional adventure as the star of the World Mother Goose Theater. Even though I'm a big fan of Sendak's work I had read this story on my own or to my kids...the special thing about Sendak's books is that they're as much for ...more
King Ævil
Dec 25, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens, 2008
A somewhat bizarre but delightful tale about a pampered pet's quest to find meaning in her existence. It's a bit of a stretch to call this a children's book. I recommend reading it both as an adult and as a child, and comparing the experiences from both viewpoints. (Because I read it for the first time in the summer of my years, I suppose I'll have to read it as a child second.)

Also, in this story Baby provides a very clear example of an early cognitive stage in language development, as she uses
Diana Ford
Sep 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
How have I not rated this before? This is one of those glorious books of childhood that will never ever leave my mind. I still go to it when I need a bit of comfort or just some quirky fun. The play at the end has been forever etched into my memory and I will find myself reciting it in my head at the most random moments. Perhaps I'll write more later on this. I was just shocked to see I hadn't given it any stars, though I reference it often (even though I may be the only one who gets it). Also, ...more
Hope L. Justice
Mar 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
'Jennie sighed and bit off another leaf. The plant continued . 'Two pillows, two bowls, a red wool sweater, eye drops, ear drops, two different bottles of pills, a thermometer, and he even loves you.'

That is true, said Jennie, chewing more leaves.

'You have everything, ' repeated the plant.

Jennie only nodded, mouth full of leaves.

'Then why are you leaving?'

Because , said Jennie, snapping off the stem and blossom, I am discontented. I want something I do not have. There must be more to life th
Dec 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those who want a good thing
this is the book that taught me how to read as a kid. my sisters and mom read it to me so many times that i memorized all the words. the pictures taught me how to read more than the words though. amazing story telling through touching drawings and dialogue. jenny the dog must figure out how to feed baby or be eaten by a lion. "no eat!" says baby who grows into a huge baby and then turns into someone else. jenny joins the theater group and has a dog's life of her own. not someone elses. it is a b ...more
Matt Hill
May 24, 2012 rated it liked it
sendak called this his best work on an episode of *the colbert report* they aired shortly after the author died . . had to read it just for that reason . . it's "for kids," but my experience is that esp. earlier kids books are just as relevant to adults as well . . as for this one, i'm *sure* there's something more going on with the story--it's "meaning" etc.--but i'm not completely sure what it's supposed to be .. may have to think on it a bit more . . do some wikipediaing . . anyway, it was en ...more
Miss Jennie, a dog were are told who, "has everything", leaves her master in search for something more. When her path crosses with that of a pig offering free sandwhiches, while also searching for the lead actress of a play, Miss Jennie is off in search of more food and experience for the role she hopes to have. A smart and clever chain of events leads to Miss Jennie finding more than she expected out of life. Sendak's black and white illustrations are detailed, so be sure to pay close attention ...more
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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.

Sendak was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Polish-Jewish immigrant parents, and decided to become an illustrator after viewing Wal
More about Maurice Sendak...
“There must be more to life than having everything!” 314 likes
“May I ask what you have in your black leather bag with gold buckles?"
"Everything." They were climbing a narrow staircase. Rhoda stopped to look when Jennie opened her bag.
"You do have everything."
"I have even more," Jennie said modestly. "Two windows that I left at home.”
More quotes…