April 19, 2016

open house for butterflies

'Open House for Butterflies', by Ruth Krauss and Maurice Sendak. Do you know it? Do you own it? I'm slowly collecting my way into owning all of the Krauss-Sendak collaboration books. (others include 'A Hole is to Dig', and 'I'll be You and You Be Me' and 'Bears' and 'Somebody Else's Nut Tree')

The best way to describe this book is to say that it's basically like a philosophy book, written from a child's viewpoint. Less of a story, and more a collection of wonderings from the childhood realm. In other words, Good Things to Know.

As in, "a song for bumpy roads is a good thing to know." And, "Lapkin is a good word to know." USEFUL THINGS. (see below for the photo about being punched in the nose. TOTES a good thing to know.)

The detailed and precise and tidily rendered black and white drawings by Maurice Sendak, well it's seems silly to even talk about, they are so charming and perfect, and it's like......he knew how to crawl into the mind of a child and put down on paper just how kids see the world.

Just like Ruth Krauss knew how to write about how kids see the world.

"I always go to bed after my bedtime.

When you're very very tired just throw your tired away."


"A good way to get yourself to go to bed is yell ALL ABOARD for bed!"

Such logic. "Yesterday shows another day is here." I haven't yet done a full feature on 'I'll Be You and You Be Me', which is similar, but a bigger sized book, with more of a poetry vibe to it - it's another one we own in our collection, and I would like to strongly suggest you add both of these charmers to your permanent library. These books will never age. They will always be #truth. You know? Best for ages 4-8.

But really best for everyone.


  1. I've never seen this but I want to read it so I'm on the lookout for a copy. I love the page with children running away with their imaginations. I don't need a punch in the nose to know that I don't want one!

    1. ha ha me neither LOL! LOVE the kid running away with their imagination. THAT's the coolness of the book, in a nutshell. Speaking of nutshell, Sendak's little Nutshell Library (3 little mini books, including Chicken Soup with Rice, is the cutest and the sweetest!)

  2. Such a classic combo. I've read a couple of their collaborative works before, but not this one. The punch in the nose bit is hilarious. I'm betting that wouldn't fly in a picture book today. ;)