Genre: Monsters / Surreal / Family
Year Published: 1981
Year Read: 2009
“Outside Over There” is a Caldecott Honor Book from the creative mind of Maurice Sendak about how a young girl named Ida must save her sister from a band of goblins. “Outside Over There” may have some scary images and the theme of child kidnapping, but it is still an excellent book full of adventure that many children will love.
Maurice Sendak’s story about a young girl rescuing her little sister is highly creative as it is written in a wonderfully surreal way that makes the story highly interesting to read. Maurice Sendak’s writing is also full of excitement, especially during the scenes where Ida’s baby sister is stolen by the goblins and will keep kids interested in the story. Maurice Sendak’s illustrations are more beautiful in this book than in his other books as the characters are drawn in a very realistic way and even when Ida ends up in the surreal world of outside over there, the illustrations still look extremely beautiful in a surreal way.
Parents should know that there are some scary images in this book such as the image of the ice baby as it looked very blue and had a blank stare that would scare smaller children. Also, there is the theme of child kidnapping as the baby sister is kidnapped by a pack of goblins, similar to the storyline in Jim Henson’s classic movie, “Labyrinth.” The issue of the child kidnapping and the scary images in this book might scare younger children, so parents might want to read this book before they read it to their children to see if they can handle the goblins in this book.
“Outside Over There” is Maurice Sendak’s most elegant book ever written since the illustrations are much more realistic than his other books. This book will be enjoyed by many children who love adventure and fantasy for many years. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up because the images of the goblins and the theme of child kidnapping might scare smaller children.
* 1982 Caldecott Honor