Author: Tony Kushner
Illustrator: Maurice Sendak
KUSHNER, Tony. Brundibar. Pictures by Maurice Sendak. After the opera by Hans Krasa and Adolf Hoffmeister. [NY: Michael di Capua Books/ Hyperion Books for Children, 2003]. Oblong 12mo, 56pp. Brown cloth stamped in gilt and black. Two-color pictorial endpapers; full-color illustrations throughout. A fine copy in publisher's original full-color pictorial d.w. (not price-clipped). Signed by the author, Tony Kushner, and the artist, Maurice Sendak.
First Edition. Based on a Czech opera that was performed 55 times by children in Terezin, a Nazi concentration camp, Brundibar is an odd, urgent little tale of a brother and sister who are desperately trying to get their hands on some milk for their sick mother. They race to the village center, only to discover that they need money to buy milk. Unfortunately, all the money in town seems to be going to the nefarious hurdy-gurdy man, Brundibar. Enter three talking animals and 300 willing children (bearing balloons stating "WE DONT MIND SKIPPING SCHOOL"), and things start looking up for little Aninku and Pepicek. Retold by playwright Tony Kushner and illustrated by Caldecott Medal winner, Maurice Sendak, this operatic story is just nutty enough to become a favorite for open-minded young readers. Sendak's chaotic, jam-packed illustrations reveal witty little subplots to the libretto text, which sharp-eyed readers will enjoy discovering.