All images copyright Stephnie James 2012 -please give me credit by name if you link to these pictures or share them in any way. Thank you.
In this interview Maurice Sendak really hits upon an essential truth of the illustrator's work; to tell the story hidden within the written text. For me, one of the best examples of this "Peepo" by Allan and Janet Ahlberg, in which a day in the life of a baby passes in episodes of what the baby sees in the kitchen, in the yard, in the park, etc. All the while his soldier father is in the background ironing his uniform, packing his bags, finally carrying baby upstairs to bed, for what may be the last time. Perhaps the baby is too young to carry any memory of his father should he not return from the war. If the reader reads the story simply as a baby experiencing the world around him it is no less enjoyable. it's the layers and layers within the story. Read it as you wish and enjoy!
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