Maurice Sendak Inks Deal for New Picture Book

Maurice Sendak turns 83 this June, but don’t expect him to go gently into the monster-filled night. He’s got a few wild rumpuses left in him. The Caldecott-winning author of classic children’s books such as Where the Wild Things Are has reached an agreement with HarperCollins to publish the first book illustrated and written by Sendak since Outside Over There in 1981, according to the deal database maintained by Publishers Marketplace. The new picture book, which began its life as an animated segment for Sesame Street that aired in the early 1970s, is Bumble-Ardy. It tells the tale of Bumble, a mischievous pig who has reached the age of nine without ever having had a birthday party. He takes matters into his own hands (well, cloven hooves) and invites all of his friends to a masquerade party that quickly gets out of hand. According to the description on Amazon’s pre-order page, Sendak “once again explores the exuberance of young children and the unshakable love between parent (in this case, an aunt) and child.” Or in this case, talking piglet. “As a child, I felt that books were holy objects to be caressed, rapturously sniffed, and devotedly provided for,” said Sendak in accepting the Hans Christian Andersen Award (for excellence in illustration of children’s books) in Bologna, Italy in 1970. “I gave my life to them. I still do. I continue to do what I did as a child: dream of books, make books, and collect books.” Bumble-Ardy will be published by HarperCollins in September.