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More About Bumble-Ardy by Maurice SendakOverviewBumble-Ardy has evolved from an animated segment for Sesame Street that aired in the early 1970s to a glorious picture book about a mischievous pig who has reached the age of nine without ever having had a birthday party. But all that changes when Bumble throws a party for himself and invites all his friends, leading to a wild masquerade that quickly gets out of hand. In this highly anticipated picture book, Maurice Sendak once again explores the exuberance of young children and the unshakable love between parent (in this case, an aunt) and child. Bumble-Ardy is the first book illustrated and written by Sendak since Outside Over There in 1981.
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Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-05-16
- Reviewer: Staff
Sendak plays to his multigenerational audience in his first solo escapade since 1981's Outside Over There (unless one counts Jack and Guy's nursery rhyme interpretation from 1993). Based on an early Sesame Street animated short created by Sendak and Jim Henson, this new Bumble-Ardy is a piglet. For eight years, the little hog's birthdays have been overlooked: "But when Bumble was eight/ (Oh, pig-knuckled fate!)/ His immediate family gorged and gained weight./ And got ate." On this eight/ate pun, with mischievous rhymes on nine to follow, Bumble is adopted by his Aunt Adeline. She leaves "the house at one past nine" on his birthday, never suspecting that Bumble has invited a vaudevillian riot of hogs to celebrate: "At nine past nine the piggy swine/ Broke down the door and guzzled brine/ And hogged sweet cakes and oinked loud grunts/ And pulled all kinds of dirty stunts." The elaborately costumed party animals replace the original animation's nine more ordinary pigs, and include a society matron, a grim reaper, greedy infants, and motley fools. Together they resemble a Saul Steinberg subterranean fantasia and allude to Sendak's decades of pop culture memories. In a Where the Wild Things Are spirit, the ecstatic crew dives into a wordless three-spread rumpus. A dizzy sequence shows Adeline busting up the party and confronting Bumble. "I won't ever turn ten!" he weeps, and she quickly forgives him. There's a looseness to Sendak's pencil lines throughout, particularly in transitional spreads that look as though torn from a sketchbook. Yet—in the outwardly breezy and subtly sinister mode of Higglety Pigglety Pop!—the hallucinatory imagery and impish rhymes are vintage Sendak. All ages. (Sept.)BookPage Reviews
Pigs-gone-wild birthday rumpus
In the world of children’s literature, Maurice Sendak, the beloved creator of Where the Wild Things Are, is a giant, and fans have been waiting 30 years for him to both write and illustrate another book. The wait is finally over with Bumble-Ardy, a riotous birthday tale that began as a character Sendak first developed in 1971 for an animated short on “Sesame Street.” Over the years, Sendak transformed the character from a boy into a pig—a poor, poor pig who is about to turn nine and has never had a birthday party.
Sendak tells the story in narration reminiscent of Edward Gorey’s wonderful black humor, explaining that Bumble-Ardy’s parents “frowned on fun” and didn’t celebrate birthdays. Then, things got even worse. When Bumble turned eight, his family “gorged and gained weight. / And got ate.”
Luckily, Aunt Adeline, a cosmopolitan working pig, adopts the orphaned Bumble. June 10 approaches, which is Bumble’s (and Sendak’s) birthday, so Bumble decides to throw himself a party while his aunt heads to work.
A riot of fun ensues, with costumed pigs guzzling Aunt Adeline’s brine. Eventually, Bumble’s aunt returns home, shouting at the revelers to scram. Meanwhile, Sendak fans have been treated to page after page of the master’s wild, wonderful illustrations.
Let’s hear it for Maurice Sendak and these delightful party animals!