Where the Wild Things Are is only one of Maurice Sendak’s books. Higglety Piggelty Pop! or There Must Be More To Life was published in 1967 by Harper Collins. In this picture “chapter” book, a dog, Jennie, is looking for “experience” so that she can join the theater, so she decides to become a baby’s (a real one) nurse. Baby won’t eat, and a Lion in the basement has, in true Where the Wild Things Are style, eaten previous nurses who failed to get the baby to eat.
We are not finished with the book, and I like surprises so much that I have not peeked at the ending. But this simile is one of the best I have read in a long time. And as it is NaNoWriMo month, and many of us are busy writing our novels, I thought I would share this brilliant one from Sendak:
“The butter-yellow windows had darkened to bean-soup black.”
The kids knew exactly what he meant.
Later, when the leaves speak, they “flutter.”
His description of cold:
“The wind blew cold and Jennie sneezed. But there was no thermometer to check her temperature and no red wool sweater to cover herself along the way.”
That makes me shiver, and want to pull Jennie up in my lap and pet her.