A Very Special House
Ruth Krauss, Krauss. HarperCollins, $17.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-06-028638-5
Now in its second season, HarperCollins's reissue of 22 Sendak classics continues. This time, his collaborations with Ruth Krauss take center stage. In Charlotte and the White Horse, first published in 1955, creamy pages frame Sendak's softly lit illustrations of a girl who convinces her father to keep a wobbly legged horse and cares for him until he can stand on his own. Sendak's delicate watercolors suit the dream-like mood of a boy who accomplishes all that he sets out to do in his imaginary world, in I Want to Paint My Bathroom Blue (1956), also by Krauss. A boy's imagination also comes to the fore in A Very Special House (1953) by Krauss, as the artist depicts the hero creating a home filled with a turtle, a giant, a very old lion and ""some monkeys and some skunkeys."" Oversize pages brim with the creatures as well as his house's ""very special"" furnishings. Open House for Butterflies (1960) takes a similar format to these collaborators' classic A Hole Is to Dig, and lastly, Hector Protector and As I Went Over the Water: Two Nursery Rhymes (1965) by Sendak conveys as much plot through the artist's wordless spreads as with the minimal text. For collectors and budding readers alike. Nov.
Reviewed on: 11/01/2001