Monday, May 21, 2012

Saturday, May 12, 2012

In A Nutshell

So many have written so eloquently about  Maurice Sendak this week.  One thing that is clear in all that I have read is that whether or not one knew him personally we all had a personal connection to him.   His books spoke directly to us as children and continue to strike something deep in our the core of our beings.

While there can be little doubt that "Where The Wild Things Are" is THE seminal picture book,  my favorite was and always will be the Nutshell Library.  It came out just when my little hands needed some books of their own to hold.  Of all of the books in our house, these were mine and I knew them by heart before I could read.   I always felt a strong kinship with Johnny who lived by himself and liked it like that.  I loved that Pierre didn't care when he poured syrup in his hair and I still can't eat chicken soup with rice without picturing myself on a crocodile paddling down the soupy Nile.  When a character of mine recently decided to be an alligator,  I looked to "Alligators All Around" for reassurance.

My Nutshell Library sits near my desk where I work every day.  Like me it is older now;   a little tattered and slightly musty.  But when I open any of the small books I remember the child I was and how it felt to have something of my very own.   It is nice to know that there is still a warm safe place where the soup is hot and being eaten by a lion doesn't have to be fatal.