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When Aninku and Pepicek discover one morning that their mother is sick, they rush to town for milk to make her better. Their attempt to earn money by singing is thwarted by a bullying, bellowing hurdy-gurdy grinder, Brundibar, who tyrannizes the town square and chases all other street musicians away. Befriended by three intelligent talking animals and three hundred helpful schoolkids, brother and sister sing for the money to buy the milk, defeat the bully, and triumphantly return home. Brundibar is based on a Czech opera for children that was performed fifty-five times by the children of Terezin, the Nazi concentration camp

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786809042
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
Publication date: 10/30/2003
Pages: 56
Sales rank: 356,679
Product dimensions: 11.00(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile: AD570L (what's this?)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

Tony Kushner's plays include A Bright Room Called Day and Slavs!; as well as adaptations of Corneille's The Illusion, Ansky's The Dybbuk, Brecht's The Good Person of Szecguan and Goethe's Stella. Current projects include: Henry Box Brown or The Mirror of Slavery; and two musical plays: St. Cecilia or The Power of Music and Caroline or Change. His collaboration with Maurice Sendak on an American version of the children's opera, Brundibar, appeared in book form Fall 2003. Kushner grew up in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and he lives in New York.

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Brundibar 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
ElizaJane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Reason for Reading: I pick up Maurice Sendak books simply because I love his illustrations, though I prefer the non-monster stuff. When I got home and read the story behind this picture book I was greatly intrigued.This book can be read on two levels. One simply read the cute, fun story about children winning over a bully to young children. There are a few frightening scenes and the story ends on an uncomfortable note but most children should get a shiver and a giggle from the story. On the second level what we have here is a very deep, symbolic rendering of the Holocaust in picture book format. Have older children read the jacket flaps, look up the story behind this opera and deal with the sad reality of where this story came from. Then read the story and look carefully at the pictures because Sendak has used a lot of symbolism and hidden small images some of which may have only meaning to him. I would love to read a critical essay on the illustrations of this book. Some characters in the town have yellow Stars of David sewn to their chests, others have yellow arm bands, there are Stars of David in the occasional window and in the background we can occasionally see crosses on top of church steeples. The authority figures have an arm raised as if in a "heil", they also often have a leg poised as if ready to march goose step. The villain Brundibar has a Hitler mustache and his organ grinder monkey is wearing a German helmet. The Dr. is distinctly portrayed as Jewish and the final scene shows the mother's bedroom with a crucifix on the wall where there clearly wasn't one in the opening scene. Also if you look closely you'll find the names of the composers written on the wall within the pages and every here and there is a haunting shadowy image of a tattered child in the background. I could go on ...All this to say, this picture book left me feeling sad for the fate of those who wrote and preformed this opera and also for the message that while we can beat bullies when we come together, there will unfortunately always be another one around another corner. Yet at the same time I was boosted by the spirit of the real people who lived (really *lived*) while they were dying in those horrifying concentration camps. This book is a classic and should not be forgotten. Thanks to Hyperion for keeping it in print. While a picture book, it would make a great addition to middle/high school courses on WWII.
eecnelsen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book would be very fun early elemenry readers. There is a main story but there is also little captions from each character. The main idea of the story is that bullies don't have to win if you stand up to them. The illistrations were captivating making you take your time and look at each page carefully.
AllieW on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lavishly illustrated, as one would expect of a Sendak book, this is a wonderful story about overcoming bullies. Based on the 1938 Czech opera of the same name, the story concerns two children, Pepicek and Aninku, whose mother is unwell. The doctor recommends that they get her fresh milk, so they set off on the long walk to town to obtain it. Once there, they realise they need money, but their attempts to earn that by singing on their own come to nothing because of the loud music of Brundibar who dominates the square. With the help of a talking cat, dog, sparrow and 300 children they manage to defeat him and earn enough money to purchase the required milk. This is utterly delightful and my nearly-two daughter was enchanted.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book is filled with Jewish symbolism for those who are old enough to find it. I saw some of the darkness of Where The Wild Things Are and the humor from In The Night Kitchen. Isn't it wonderful how the 300 children arise to the occasion to show there is always hope.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a masterpiece. My children have an opportunity to experience a new Sendak classic, just as I experienced Where The Wild Things Are. It seems that Sendak is using a different style here, not seen before. I really like Tony Kushner's text, very accessible to children, and he handled heavy matter vey deftly