My Brother’s Book, Maurice Sendak’s posthumously published last work, appears 50 years after Where the Wild Things Are. Through poetry and watercolours it tells a magical and wholly original story.
On a bleak midwinter’s night, the newest star in the sky smashes and separates brothers Jack and Guy. Jack gets catapulted to continents of ice where his nose freezes, while Guy wheels about the air before falling into a polar bear’s lair. In exchange for his life, Guy asks the bear a riddle about his frozen brother. Swallowed whole by the bear, he descends to an underworld. Eventually, however, he finds Jack, buried in veiled blossoms, saved by the brother “he loves more than his own self.”
Heavily influenced by William Blake (the brothers look like dancing Albions) and Samuel Palmer’s mystical green lands, the drawings are as beautiful as one would hope. It’s also a stellar lesson in the pairing of text and image; the poetry and drawings have complimentary roles, taking turns to lead. It’s a sad, dark and in some ways difficult tale about losing the one you love and finding reunion a long time later. It’s also tender and uplifting – full of verdant forests, icy drifts and snowy cliffs, and dotted throughout with multicoloured stars.
Maurice Sendak’s My Brother’s Book is out now, published by Harper Collins.
- Camelot’s typefaces bring both the contemporary and historical to the table
- Scott Newett’s eerily quiet, ethereal portraits of Chinese utopia
- Jade Schulz’s atmospheric and imaginative editorial illustrations
- Emiliano Granado’s new zine puts a fresh spin on Tour de France fandom
- The big cover up: Mathieu Thibault's translations of graffiti
- Artist Howard Fonda captures the vibrancy of summer for Ace & Tate
- Benedict Redgrove’s beautifully hypnotic film about how a tennis ball is created
- Tommy Cash subverts the tropes of rap videos with a fleshy celebration of the human body (NSFW)
- Ian Davis’ picturesque paintings of bureaucratic dystopia
- Is it ever OK to work for free?
- Pentagram unveils refresh of Mastercard’s brand mark and identity
- Peter Saville and Tate Design Studio create beer can artwork for Switch House pale ale