Home icon. The Works of Robert Graves. Exhibition: 1 April to 17 June 2011.

Cabinet 16: Literature for Children

The Big Green Book.

Robert Graves, The Big Green Book. New York: Crowell-Collier, 1962.

Before Maurice Sendak became famous for his Where the Wild Things Are (1963), he illustrated the works of others, including Dr Maxwell Leigh Eidinoff’s Atomics for the Millions (1947), Robert Garvey’s Good Shabbos Everybody (1951), and Ruth Krauss’s A Hole is to Dig (1952).

The life of an illustrator came earlier to Sendak; viewing Walt Disney’s film Fantasia at the age of twelve was the defining moment.

Another book from this early period, and which is regarded as Sendak’s tribute to Beatrix Potter, is his illustrations to Graves’s The Big Green Book. The tale is about young Jack, who finds a big green book of spells and uses it to change his unpleasant aunt and uncle into good ones.