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Outside Over There by Maurice Sendak
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Outside Over There (1981)

by Maurice Sendak

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Summary: Ida is a young girl that takes care of her little sister while her dad is away at sea, and her mother seems distracted in the arbor. Goblins come and steal her sister to be a goblin bride, and Ida leaves through her window to save her dear sister. The story ends Ida playing her wonder horn so the goblins dance into the river, and her sister is rescued. When Ida returns home, there is a letter from her father telling her how strong she is and to continue to care for her mother and sister.
Personal Reaction: This story was very eerie. There is just an element of creepiness to it, almost mysterious. It is definitely an interesting story to read even for adults. I would not recommend this book to a child young child. Although the story never went into detail about her mother, I believe that the presumption can be made that the mother is not well. How she is not well is open to interpretation. It is my guess that her mother is mentally ill, and Ida as a young child herself cares for her infant sister. The “goblins” in the story appeared to be other babies, which was interesting as well. Ida shows determination in rescuing her sister, even in the face of darkness. I believe this is representative of Ida’s life.
Extension Ideas:
A discussion in the classroom could be created geared towards family and strength and how families stick together and help one another.
Students could create their own “wonder horn,” similar to the one Ida uses to sooth her sister, and then to drive the goblins away.
  copeland86 | Jul 13, 2014 |
I really did not like this book. The first thing I did not like was I thought the writing style was very odd and a tad uncomfortable and unnatural to read. For example, a line in the story read, "Now Ida glad hugged baby tight." In my mind, that sentence does not flow at all. The pictures, although very detailed, were very dark and gloomy and if I were a young child reading this or having it read to me, I would be frightened. The pictures are very spooky. It does possess a decent message though. It shows the reader the very relatable situation of older siblings feeling the burden of watching over the younger ones but if it actually came down to it, they would drop everything to help their younger siblings in need. ( )
  jjones58 | Feb 26, 2014 |
Beautiful painterly illustrations. The story of a young girl coming to terms with her responsibility for her younger sister. Inspired the movie Labyrinth. ( )
  alexjtedesco | Dec 10, 2013 |
This has to be one of my favorite of all of Sendak's work. How true the story is! It is about a father who is physically away, a mother who is emotionally absent, and a girl who has to take on the role of caretaker for her younger sibling and overall her family. She does not like the responsibility and simply wants to play her horn. But, she ultimately takes responsibility for those she loves and outwits the goblins. How many children in the world have to the parents? How many children have to take responsibility for the family when all they want to do is be a child? How many children do not like the responsibility, but truly love their families and would do anything to help? In my opinion, this is Sendak's most honest and real story. ( )
  cjohnen01 | Nov 17, 2013 |
As I was reading this, I was like, man, this is awfully similar to the movie The Labyrinth. But it was written well before and I don't remember that the Labyrinth was based on a book. But then I found out that, indeed, this book is the basis for that film. And more than that, the basis for the book is Sendak's memories of hearing about the Lindberg Baby kidnapping when he was a child! Anyway, even without all that back story, it's a great book. ( )
  AmberTheHuman | Aug 30, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0064431851, Paperback)

With Papa off to sea and Mama despondent, Ida must go outside over there to rescue her baby sister from goblins who steal her to be a goblin's bride.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:13 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

With Papa off to sea and Mama despondent, Ida must go outside over there to rescue her baby sister from goblins who steal her to be a goblin's bride.

» see all 2 descriptions

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