“Roar like a Dandelion”, written by Ruth Krauss and illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier, is an Alphabetic call to embrace mindfulness and take in the beauty of our world while staying playful, creative and down-to-earth. It’s humorous, witty and profoundly meaningful all at once.
This is a never-before-published book by Ruth Krauss (1901-1993), one of the most celebrated American children’s book writers. Ruth is renowned for many literary gems, including her wonderful children’s books collaborations with Maurice Sendak. Maurice Sendak regarded her as a giant in the world of children’s literature, saying: “Ruth broke rules and invented new ones, and her respect for the natural ferocity of children bloomed in to poetry that was utterly faithful to what was true in their lives”.
She was married to Crockett Johnson (1906-1975) who created the enduring children’s classic Harold and the Purple Crayon and the groundbreaking comic strip Barnaby. The creative couple created together such popular picture books as “The Carrot Seed” and “How to Make an Earthquake”. Ruth wrote over a dozen children’s books illustrated by others, and pioneered the use of spontaneous, loose-tongued kids in children’s literature. Johnson and Krauss’ books, with clear minimalist drawing and a child’s point-of-view, are among the most influential in children’s literature and cartooning, inspiring the work of Maurice Sendak, Charles M. Schulz, Chris Van Allsburg, and Jon Scieszka. Due to their strong leftist ideals Johnson and Krauss are said to have been under the FBI surveillance for years. Their legacy invites readers to dream and imagine, offering paths that take them anywhere they want to go.
Sergio Ruzzier who illustrated this book is a multi-award-winning Italian author and illustrator. In 2011 he was the recipient of Sendak Fellowship, a mentoring program for promising illustrators, established by Maurice Sendak. “Roar like a Dandelion” is a beautifully illustrated Alphabet of feelings, emotional states and beautiful connections – a wisdom library of all that matters. These might be the hardest things to illustrate yet Sergio Ruzzier managed to make it look effortless, with the wit of the illustrations matching that of the book’s ingenious text.
“Act like a sprinkler in summer”, “Butt like a billy goat”, “Dance with a leaf”, “Look under the bed for poetry”… every single line and picture pair is a gem.
“Vote for yourself” is one of my favorites. What’s yours?
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