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Author: Sendak, Maurice
The story of a pig who has his first-ever birthday party when he turns nine.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 2.40
Points: .5 Quiz: 146423
Common Core Standards
Grade K → Reading → RL Literature → K.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade K → Reading → RL Literature → K.RL Craft & Structure
Grade K → Reading → RL Literature → K.RL Integration of Knowledge & Ideas
Grade 1 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 1.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 1 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 1.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 2 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 2.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 2 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 2.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 2 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
Kirkus Reviews (07/01/11)
School Library Journal (08/01/11)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (10/11)
The Hornbook (00/09/11)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 07/01/2011 Adapted from a 1972 cartoon he created for Sesame Street, Sendak tells a surreal story of a little piggy’s very first birthday party at the age of nine. The piggy’s parents have died, so it’s his aunt who gives him a cake and a cowboy costume before she heads off to work. As soon as she departs, the pig invites a rowdy crew of costumed swine to celebrate with him, and Sendak tones down the raucous party a bit: the “wine” of the original cartoon has been replaced by “brine.” Although his aunt is initially furious upon her return, all is quickly forgiven. This outing is unmistakably Sendak, with rhyming text that recalls the early charm of the Nutshell Library’s volumes and vivid watercolors that reflect the more visionary work of We Are All in the Dumps with Jack and Guy (1993). Sendak peppers the illustrations with details that invite close scrutiny and repeated visits. With a slightly sinister tone, a surprisingly bright palette, and a pointed narrative, this picture book leaves an indelible impression. - Copyright 2011 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 08/01/2011 PreS-Gr 2—In 1970, Sendak collaborated with Jim Henson on an animated short for Sesame Street that celebrated the number nine and a birthday boy who partied with swine. The author has re-imagined the rhymed narrative with a cast composed completely of pigs. The plot is still driven by an unfortunately/fortunately engine, but accommodations have been made for today's sensitive parents, e.g., instead of wine, the pigs guzzle brine. In the opening sequence that spans the years and starts before the title page, readers learn that Bumble-Ardy has never had a birthday party. "His immediate family frowned on fun." When Bumble turns eight, his parents "got ate." On birthday nine, divine Aunt Adeline provides a "hotsy tottsy cowboy costume" and leaves for work, whereupon surreptitious invitations lead to a masquerade. Initially framed in ovals (a nod to the film), the revelers burst out of the borders and parade across a white background. Then the raucous rumpus begins. Costumed pigs carouse with wild abandon against a star-dotted sky in three full-bleed spreads. Nine appears as a numeral and in various languages. Savvy readers will notice references to Sendak's previous books and an ebullient cameo; scholars will undoubtedly discover personal iconography in the densely populated watercolors. Familiar themes abound: the quest for home, the capacity children have for navigating their circumstances, the pleasure of cake, the presence of death. A skeletal grim reaper dances next to the banner reading: "May Bumble live 900 years." Oh that Mr. Sendak could. Nobody does naughty quite like he does.—Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library - Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 10/01/2011 There’s a birthday coming for Bumble-Ardy the pig (recently adopted by his aunt Adeline after the tragic consumption of his parents), who’s turning nine, and who enjoys a genteel celebration with his aunt. Later, though, Bumble invites a pack of swine to party down at a birthday masquerade (“No mud wallowing!”), and the costumed crowd, arriving while Aunt Adeline is at work, breaks into her brine and rocks the rafters—until Auntie’s outraged return and Bumble’s exile to his room. The story unfolds in conversational rhyming lines that eschew structure for absurdity, returning repeatedly to “nine” and its rhymes until the rhyme words are almost a punchline in their own right; additional text comes from the speech balloons and labeling in the illustrations, which expand and inform the main text. The party gone wild is a kid-appealing notion, and the turns of phrase (“His immediate family gorged and gained weight./ And got ate”) are lilting and funny, with the folkloric edge of nursery rhymes. The story itself is less successful, though, with the events overshadowed by the rhyme and the plot turns logically fuzzy, with Adeline going from enraged (eliciting a slightly alarming promise from Bumble that he “won’t ever turn ten”) to cuddly and forgiving with the irrational speed of a mood disorder. The illustrations are a world unto themselves, filled with eccentric detail even before the party bedlam breaks out, and the exquisitely individual draftsmanship and softly grainy pencil shading and modeling are a testament to Sendak’s legendary skill. The party itself builds and explodes in a sequence of textless spreads à la Wild Things, and the crammed chaos has a genuinely creepy edge, with pigs piloting colorful blank-eyed human costumes in a Fellini-esque porcine pantomime set firmly in the uncanny valley. Fascinating as the pageantry is, it doesn’t fit in with the pacing all that effectively and stops the plot rather than sending it soaring silently. A party gone over the top is hard to resist, though, and even kids whose thoughts go straight to bacon will pore over the amusing yet haunting pig masquerade. DS - Copyright 2011 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.