My favorite Maurice Sendak book
As my title says, I love this book. It is informed by a deep love of a dog (I've read there really was a Jenny -- I've seen photographs of her). That love is all the more genuine and moving in that the story has none of the sentimentality that the rest of us allow ourselves, as we read our lives (and survival) into that of our animal pets. Some other reviews say that the story is strange and quirky. I agree, but the world is strange and quirky, especially if we are obliged to see it new. It takes some kind of courage to face sadness (read: to be torn away from comfortable mental habits that, it's true, give us solace in hard times), the big one being the sadness on separation from those we love. I read the story as being both dangerous and reassuring; a way of experiencing that we individuals might live longer than those we love. What if those we love want something from the world that we can't give them? Or maybe we want them to stick around for all time. And Higglety-Pigglety Pop does this with such humor and grace. What a grand way to immortalize Jenny!