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Higglety Pigglety Pop!: Or There Must Be…
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Higglety Pigglety Pop!: Or There Must Be More to Life (1967)

by Maurice Sendak

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"Higglety Pigglety Pop!" is an exceptional story that is so simplistic and yet is filled with so much truth. The author Maurice Sendak does a fantastic job at taping into the human spirit. He did this by showing that even when people have everything they are still not satisfied with their lives. He shows this by having the dog say that she has everything, but for some reason she is not happy with her life. She sets out on a journey with all of her belongings in search of something more. Then in the story everything she has gets destroyed and she is left with nothing, and even after loosing everything the dog still went in search of something more. Sendak uses this to show that no matter what we are given/ have in the life we will always be unhappy and always be in search of something that we may never attain.
  brandib90 | Oct 9, 2013 |
Now I remember why I never liked fairy tales -- they are spooky and complicated -- and so is this book.

Sendak wrote the book after his beloved dog Jennie died. Taking lines from a Mother Goose poem, Sendak created a fairy tale of multifaceted layers.

Jennie is bored and has everything a dog or man could want. Leaving her abode of comfort, she travels and meets members of The World Mother Goose Theatre.

Longing to be a lead star, she is told experience is necessary.

When Jennie becomes a nanny to a spoiled baby who refuses to eat, she longs to find the parents who live in Castle Yonder.

When the baby destroys Jennies possessions, the dog that had everything now has nothing.

When the lion in the basement eats the baby, Jennie no longer has a mission.

Leaving the home of the baby, Jennie is re-united with the World Mother Goose Theatre members and because she now has experience, becomes a star.

While highly creative, I'm left feeling like I missed something.

While Sendak laughs, I ponder the meaning of it all.

The illustrations seemed spooky and surreal.

The face of the baby was adult like and haunting. ( )
  Whisper1 | May 30, 2013 |
Jennie is a Sealyham terrier who has everything. "...a round pillow upstairs and a square pillow downstairs...her own comb and brush, two different bottles of pills, eyedrops, eardrops, a thermometer, and for cold weather a red wool sweater. There were two windows for her to look out of and two bowls to eat from. She even had a master who loved her."

But as is so often the case--in real life almost as often as in fairy tales--everything just isn't enough for Jennie. And so, clutching her black leather bag with gold buckles, she sets off one morning in search of that elusive something more.

Along the way Jennie meets a pig offering free sandwiches and the chance to become the leading lady for the World Mother Goose Theater..if she gains some experience before the full moon. Leading lady being a title that appeals to a little dog as bossy and spoiled as Jennie, she now has a goal. Kind of a quest, actually.

Along the way Jennie meets all sorts of interesting people who help propel her onward, and in the end she proves herself to be a very brave little dog and gets the job.

Like all the best fairy tales Higglety Pigglety Pop! has a certain surreal quality to it. In addition to the talking animals (and plants!), there's Baby, who won't eat, whose name nobody remembers. Jennie's story also has in common with classic fairy tales a layer of foreboding that sits just beneath the surface; Baby's parents left for the Castle Yonder and never returned and there's a Lion in the cellar who eats the Nurses who can't get Baby to eat. But the ending is joyous and the foreboding is forestalled. Maurice Sendak's humor and the sly lessons he sneaks in are in abundance, and his obvious adoration of his subject shines through in every one of his exquisite illustrations. As with all of the best children's literature this one will be savored as much by adults as by the children in their lives. ( )
2 vote BeckyJG | Dec 18, 2011 |
Fun story about a little dog who runs away and becomes an actress. Jennie will eat anything. Sendak based this story on his own beloved dog. ( )
  hollyhox | Apr 9, 2011 |
I must have had this book on tape when I was younger, because certain voices pop out at me as I read it. Goodreads readers suggest that the dog dies at the very beginning, and this is her afterlife. I don't know what to think of that, but this book has always struck me as rather dark. ( )
  Superdaisy | Aug 16, 2010 |
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Once Jennie had everything.
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Book description
Tells the story of Jennie, the little terrier who left her luxurious home in search of life's meaning.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 006028479X, Hardcover)

As a tribute to his dearly departed pooch, Maurice Sendak wrote this odd little tale in 1967 about Jennie, a Sealyham terrier who is not content with having everything but must go out in the world to find something she doesn't have. Right off the bat, she comes across a pig wearing sandwich boards advertising the need for a leading lady in the World Mother Goose Theatre. Jennie leaps at the opportunity. Unfortunately, the position requires someone with experience, so she sets off to find it. One hungry lion and a stubborn un-hungry baby later, Jennie definitely has experience, if nothing else anymore, and off she goes to play the leading role in a nursery-rhyme-turned-theatrical-production:
Higglety-pigglety pop!
The dog has eaten the mop!
The pig's in a hurry
The cat's in a flurry
Higglety-pigglety pop!
This dreamy, slightly dark story, illustrated in Sendak's renowned pen-and-ink style, tells of a gluttonous dog's transformation from someone who cares only about her next salami sandwich to one who would risk her life for a weaker being (while still wondering where that next sandwich is coming from). Caldecott Medal artist Sendak is the brilliantly quirky creator of such classics as Where the Wild Things Are and In the Night Kitchen. (Ages 5 to 9) --Emilie Coulter

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:52:47 -0400)

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The adventures of Jennie, a dog who runs away from home to see what else there is to life.

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