It’s time for the year end accolades. Check out EW’s awards for the best in books below!
Trend We’d Like to Squash
“Cookbooks” like The Unofficial Game of Thrones Cookbook. Stewed goat, anyone?
Beloved children’s author and illustrator Maurice Sendak died today at the age of 83, according to the New York Times. The cause of death was complications after a recent stroke. A true creative force with singular vision, he rose to international prominence in 1963 with his classic picture book Where the Wild Things Are, which tells the story of a mischievous young boy who escapes to an imagined world full of wild forests and fanged beasts. Following his first publication in 1947, Sendak wrote and illustrated dozens of best-selling and critically acclaimed titles in addition to designing sets for operas and producing TV series based on his books. READ FULL STORY
The first book both written illustrated by Maurice Sendak in 30 years, Bumble-Ardy starts on a familiar note: a child character, feeling mistreated by adults, looks to start some mischief. This time, our hero is a nine-year-old pig whose parents, due to negligence or malevolence, have never thrown him a birthday party. After his parents gorge themselves and therefore become food themselves, poor Bumble-Ardy goes to live with his sweet aunt Adeline, who throws him a quiet but lovely ninth birthday celebration. But that’s not enough for the long-deprived little pig. When Adeline leaves for work, he throws a ruckus of a party on his own, inviting hordes of his unusual-looking friends to an all-out bash. Like Sendak’s classic Where the Wild Things Are, Bumble-Ardy is a dark, moody work. READ FULL STORY
Like many fans of Maurice Sendak’s classic 1963 children’s book Where the Wild Things Are, I’ve been curious about how Spike Jonze’s upcoming live-action movie would expand the original 16-sentence story to feature-film length. We get our first extended glimpse of the answer to that question in this week’s New Yorker, which publishes an excerpt from Dave Eggers’ novelization of the screenplay that he and Jonze wrote for the movie. (Eggers’ McSweeney’s imprint also announced plans to publish the novelization, titled The Wild Things, in a special $28 faux-fur-covered edition in October; a PETA-approved non-fuzzy edition will cost $19.95.)
In the New Yorker excerpt, “Max at Sea,” we get a good deal of backstory and many new names. There are references to our hero Max’s third-grade science teacher, Mr. Malhotra; to an older sister, Claire, whose tobacco-chewing friends bury Max in his own snow fort, prompting Max to seek prankish revenge; to his parents’ divorce some three years ago; and to his mother’s chinless new boyfriend, Gary. Once Max runs away from home (clad in his white wolf costume, which the much-reviled Gary mistakes for a bunny outfit) and sails to a distant island, we also get names for some of the previously nameless Wild Things: The giant rooster is Douglas, the horned creature with red hair is Judith, the bulbous-nosed one is Ira, and the main Wild Thing instigator with the horizontal stripes on his torso is named, improbably, Carol (but he’s a guy). As you might expect in any Dave Eggers opus, the story is chock-a-block with the author’s particular brand of whimsy, often presented in old-fashioned, sometimes precious locutions like this: “Pâté was a regrettable name for an unfortunate food. It seemed to Max a good idea to get up from the chair and to leap onto the counter. Which he presently did.”
I’m certainly intrigued. How about you? Let the wild rumpus begin in the comments section.