In the wake of Spike Jonzes movie adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are, theres been a resurgence of interest in childrens book author Maurice Sendak. But the truth is, for those of us who grew up with his creations, weve never really forgotten. The raw emotion, joy and confusion of childhood he captured in those pages was so real, so close to home, that any one of us could instantly call to mind specific pages, images or at least the feelings we experienced while immersed in Sendaks world. It would be interesting, then, to dive into Sendaks new book the first hes written since 1981 and see whats changed, both in him and in us. Bumble-Ardy tells the story of a little pig who, in Sendaks words, is an outcast deeply rejected.
I cant help thinking of Bumble now in light of what Ive been reading in the newspapers about that kidnapped and murdered Hasidic boy, Leiby Kletzky. I cant get that grainy news photo out my mind. Its taken from a street camera. We see him from the back. He has one arm extended out. Its a very painful little picture because its him, you know, its him. And that little extended arm, saying to the world, Somebody, take my hand. It breaks my heart.