ERIC Number: EJ957034
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 49
Navigating Worlds of "Trouble and Woe and Worse" in Children's Literature: An Exploration into the Double Text of Tony Kushner and Maurice Sendak's "Brundibar"
Larsen, Kristin M.
Children's Literature in Education, v43 n1 p27-47 Mar 2012
In this article, the author explores the richly layered double text of Kushner and Sendak's picturebook, "Brundibar" (2003)--the historical context of "Brundibar" as a Holocaust-era children's operetta by Hans Krasa and Adolf Hoffmeister, and the present day manifestation of "Brundibar" as a children's picturebook. In order to contextualize the discussion of Kushner and Sendak's text, "Brundibar"'s historical origins in Nazi-annexed Czechoslovakia and its transition to the stage in the Nazi "model" concentration camp, Terezin, is presented. An extensive semiotic analysis of Kushner and Sendak's illustrations and text is also provided within the framework of what Kushner ("The art of Maurice Sendak: 1980 to the present," "2003") terms "a world of trouble and woe and worse" (p. 210). Furthermore, the author discusses the development of Sendak's Hitlerian "Brundibar" and the struggles that both Kushner and Sendak faced as they considered how to portray the story's antagonist, given their somewhat differing conceptions of which difficult themes and topics children should be exposed to during childhood. To round out this discussion, the author explores pedagogical implications for teachers as they read difficult texts, particularly Holocaust texts, with children.
Descriptors: Childrens Literature, Foreign Countries, Semiotics, Picture Books, Jews, Death, War, European History, Children, Opera, Authoritarianism
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Czechoslovakia