Outside Over There
|Outside Over There|
Outside Over There is a picture book for children written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. It concerns a young girl named Ida, who must rescue her baby sister after the child has been stolen by goblins.
A young girl named Ida harbors feelings of jealousy and resentment towards her baby sister, for whom she is largely responsible while their father is away. When her sister is kidnapped through the nursery window by mysterious robed fey, who leave an ice baby in her sister's place. Ida resolves to rescue her, embarking on a fantastic adventure. Initially, Ida is easily distracted from her goal, nearly passing her sister as she becomes absorbed in the magic of the quest. Ultimately, she succeeds in rescuing her baby sister and returning home, now fully committed to the care of her sister until their father returns home.
In the documentary Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Maurice Sendak (2009), Sendak describes his awareness in 1932 (around age 4) of the sensational Lindbergh baby kidnapping case, including a newspaper photograph of the child's remains. That experience showed him the mortality and peril of children, which the adult Sendak has expressed in many books. Outside Over There draws more specifically from the Lindbergh case. A child is stolen from its crib through a window, accessed by a ladder, and one of the illustrations of the lost baby is a deliberate portrait of the infant Charles Lindbergh Jr. The theme of a protective sister is drawn from Sendak's own childhood, in which his older sister was his primary caregiver and devoted playmate.
Some honors for Outside Over There:
- Picture books were separately recognized for only two years in National Book Awards history, during four years when there were dual hardcover and paperback awards in many categories.