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Traumafessions :: Reader My37 on “Outside Over There” by Maurice Sendak

October 20th, 2010 by aunt john · 4 Comments

I’d like to make a contribution to your website (which I discovered recently and LOVE by the way). This book scared the hell out of me as a child. It was about a girl who was in charge of taking care of her baby sister and basically from what I remember, the baby is stolen by goblins. Way before LABYRINTH, and not as cute and fun like some of Sendak‘s other books, this traumatized me.

I had just had a little sister for the first time when I first read the book in the early ’80s, and I feared this was going to happen my sister while I was “in charge” of looking after her. The illustrations are creepy, and to me was just not a kid friendly book.

Tags: Book Reports · Traumafessions

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 rifframoneNo Gravatar // Oct 20, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    Sendak does some odd work, doesn’t he?  I have a copy of his ‘We’re All In the Dumps With Jack And Guy’ which I think would be scary to some children as well.  In it a homeless child is taken by rats and Jack and Guy (who are slightly older homeless children) go to save him- once they decide not to beat him up instead.  It’s a rather bleak and somewhat disturbing book on some levels, but the end is ‘happy’ since the kids all make it back to their camp and now have each other to stay with.  Your trauma-book is considered part of a unit of three- ‘Where The Wild Things Are’, ‘In The Night Kitchen’, and ‘Outside Over There’ that Sendak says are all variations on the same theme: how children master various feelings – danger, boredom, fear, frustration, jealousy – and manage to come to grips with the realities of their lives.”  That or else they end up traumatized! 

  • 2 jamisingsNo Gravatar // Oct 20, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    I hate, hate, hate, HATE Sendak! His books freak me out. I always despised Where The Wild Things Are. I never understood why he’s even published!

  • 3 rifframoneNo Gravatar // Oct 20, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    jamisings- I feel the same way about Dr Seuss!

  • 4 jamisingsNo Gravatar // Oct 21, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Riff – you know what else I hate? Those “If you give (insert an animal here) a (insert food item here” books. They’re stupid and anyway, you don’t take mice to movies unless you want to be kicked out!

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