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Very Far Away by Maurice Sendak

Very Far Away

by Maurice Sendak

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  BRCSBooks | Oct 28, 2013 |
Very Far Away, another tale by Sendak about a little boy whose mother doesn't hear him because of business so he decides to go far, far away. Along the way he meets Horse, Cat, and Sparrow. They all decide to join him in the adventure. What a rout!~! A very fun little tale. ( )
1 vote rainpebble | Jul 5, 2013 |
Very Far Away, first published in 1957, was the second book which Maurice Sendak both wrote and illustrated. It is the story of Martin, a little boy who decides to go very far away.

The book begins with Martin asking his mother a question, but she is too distracted with her new baby to hear him. So, he decides to go very far away. He packs a bag, and before long he runs into a horse and a sparrow. They too are longing for a place that is very far away. Then a cat enters the scene, and it turns out he knows of a place that is very far away. So they go to very far away, which turns out to be a small room with a table and two chairs. For awhile Martin and each of the animals get exactly what they want from very far away. Martin has someone to answer his questions, the sparrow is taken back to his previous life of civility and refinement, the horse is allowed to dream, and the cat can sing without complaint. But before long the four tire of each other and leave. Martin decides to go home, where maybe his mother is done washing the baby. If she isn't, he decides, he can simply sit on the step and count cars.

I have read almost all of Maurice Sendak's books, but this is my current favourite. It doesn't have the surreal weirdness of some of his more popular later books, like Where the Wild Things Are and In the Night Kitchen, but it is beautiful and poignant in its simplicity. Like many of Sendak's books you could take any single page on its own and admire it for its poetry and artwork. It also has a simple, but important message, which is simply that life offers no simple fixes. Every single day our lives are less than perfect and often it seems like running away is the best option. But very far away doesn't really exist for anyone. What seems like perfection is probably just a pretentious sparrow, an obnoxious cat, and a spacey horse. All anyone can really do is watch the cars go by and try to make the best of what they've got. ( )
  jschofie | Nov 8, 2012 |
The book had an interesting concept and a moral that is up fro interpretation and discussion, which I liked.
  laurenwhite92 | Sep 20, 2012 |
In this two-part picture book, Maurice Sendak, paints an original story about a little boy named Martin who decides to go "Very Far Away", where somebody will answer his questions because his mother is too busy washing the baby to listen to him. Then, in one of my favorite illustrations in the book, Martin packs his bags and dons a cowboy suit and a fake mustache - "so no one would recognize him" - and he went looking for very far away.

During his journey Martin meets a horse, a cat, and finally a bird, that join him on his quest to find very far away. They finally find "very far away", and that concludes the first half of the book. In the second half, Martin asks his new-found friends his questions, and they each indulge in their desires, and "they lived together very happily, for an hour and a half". The rest of the story concludes Martin's quest, and in a twist of humor and irony, he is on his way back home with a new set of questions for his mother. Excellent!

Themes: Running away, Exploration, Discovery, friendship.
  Brianna82 | Aug 11, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060297239, Hardcover)

First published in 1957, Very Far Away is the second book Sendak both wrote and illustrated.

In this story, a young boy with a new baby sibling, must learn to cope with his sudden lack of attention. He goes out searching for 'very far away'.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:19:43 -0400)

Martin goes off to find someplace "very far away" and runs into a horse, a bird, and a cat who are all looking for their "ideal spot."

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