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Outside Over There

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  3,504 ratings  ·  440 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
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Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,504 ratings  ·  440 reviews

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Aug 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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, that's 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 bowie that really makes labyrinth shine as
May 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Not children
This is such a scary book, it could be seen as a fairytale perhaps for adults to read and the illustrations are so skillfully drawn. But as a children's book it's just too disturbing. I can remember picking this up in the children's picture book area of the library, I must have been under 5 yrs and I found it really scary. The illustrations are so realistic apart from some large out of scale feet and it's clear even just by the pictures that a baby/toddler is being stolen. I'm so glad I couldn't ...more
Although I do in many ways consider Maurice Sendak a personal favourite, I absolutely have not even remotely been able to enjoy (or even appreciate) especially the presented storyline (the written text) of his award winning Outside Over There (an original Kunstmärchen type of story, hearkening back to the many folktales of changelings left in the place of infants by goblins, fairies and the like, and where a family member, usually the mother, but in Outside Over There an older sister, must then ...more
I really like this book. It was the inspiration for the movie 'the Labyrinth'. This is a book of art. Each page is so beautiful. It is stunning. The problem with the stunning art is the story. It is a scary story. My niece is still scared to go to sleep by herself. I can't let her read this story of people climbing in a window and stealing away a child. She is rescued, but this would be too much for her.

I know the child is unharmed and the girl saves the day and all, but it was disturbing for m
Oct 02, 2007 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
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was very familiar with Where the Wild Things Are and In the Night Kitchen as these have been read many times over in my house. I was not, however, acquainted with this book until this summer. I was reading Victor LaValle’s The Changeling which continuously alluded to this book, so I purchased it from Amazon right away. Aside from winning numerous awards and inspiring LaValle’s The Changeling , this is the book that inspired the movie Labrynth.

This book is dark, mysterious, magical. The fath
Nov 19, 2009 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 viol ...more
Lisa Vegan
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
Pretty much your average feminist magical realist changeling recovery picture book for children story. I'm told there's hundreds of them.

Aug 08, 2007 rated it did not like it
Dr. Mr. Sendak, Please seek therapy elsewhere and stop scaring the hell out of me!
Skylar Burris
Jul 14, 2008 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.

May 01, 2008 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.
“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
Jan 30, 2013 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
Dustin Crazy little brown owl
Jul 05, 2013 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
Dec 31, 2011 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!
Lindsay Fouts
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a strange book.

This Sendak book inspired the movie "Labyrinth". I guess it would be perfect for bedtime if you want the kids to have nightmares :)
Anthony Vacca
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
A reader unfamiliar with this picture book is practically implored by Victor LaValle's marvelous The Changeling to rectify this oversight. This dreamy and grotesque fable warns both parents and older siblings of leaving a baby unattended: they will be burgled by goblins and replaced with an icy impostor that will melt and render a bassinet soggy. If this is first flipped through as an adult, then the reflective reader can curse their parents for how profoundly they have failed them once again. ...more
Feb 22, 2012 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
Cindy Kelly Benabderrahman
Apr 20, 2009 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
Carly Allen
Nov 25, 2012 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
Oct 03, 2008 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.
Isa Lavinia
Jan 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-mg, fantasy
My god, that baby was ugly.
Connie G
Aug 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Story 3 stars
Exceptional Illustrations 5 stars
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
Maurice Sendak considered this book to be his finest achievement, and I just finished Joseph Cott's recently published There's a Mystery There: The Primal Vision of Maurice Sendak in which Cott goes into great depth discussing the book with Sendak (he interviewed Sendak numerous times starting in 1976 for Rolling Stone when Sendak was just beginning to work on Outside over There in what became an intensive and sometimes difficult five-year creative process for him), as well as two psychologists, ...more
Jamie Scott
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I haven’t yet reached the point in the year where I read picture books to up my book count ... bear with ... even though this is a picture book, this book actually means something.

When I was a small wee bairn we got this book from the library and it had a really peculiar aroma which, in the years that past, brought forth its name - “The Smelly Book”

I thought I had dreamt up this story and would ask the family ad nausea - “Do you remember that Smelly Book? The Smelly Book with the babies?”

I wa
May 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Sendak's most puzzling and perhaps most brilliant picture book plays complex allegorical games with sibling rivalry and Oedipal tensions, as Ida (note that her name contains "id") loses her sister to goblins, who replace the baby with a changeling ice baby. Ida must engage, superficially, in a fairly typical quest-type narrative to regain the lost sister, but in doing so she assumes disturbing associations with her mother. Probably irreducible to a single meaning, this book is provocative every ...more
Jun 14, 2012 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
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
Elisha Condie
Dec 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
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maternal depression 1 4 Oct 20, 2013 02:28PM  

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Maurice Bernard Sendak was 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 Wa

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