THE MOON JUMPERS, INSCRIBED BY MAURICE SENDAK, WITH AN ORIGINAL DRAWING OF A MOON JUMPER
(SENDAK, Maurice) UDRY, Janice May. The Moon Jumpers. New York: Harper & Row, (1959, i.e. circa 1965). Slim quarto, original half maroon cloth, original dust jacket. $1600.
Later edition of a “child’s exhilaration and enchantment with the loveliness of summer nights,” inscribed by Sendak to a close friend and neighbor: "For Elizabeth—with pleasure. Maurice Sendak June '76," and with an original drawing of one of the moon jumpers.
"'The warm night-wind tosses our hair. The wind chimes stir. And we all dance, barefooted. Over and over the grass. We climb the tree, just to be in a tree at night.' Here is a child's exhilaration and enchantment with the loveliness of summer nights, with the magic of moonlight." "No one has ever touched the moon" Udry tells us and silently encourages us to give it a try. "For the Moon Jumpers, Maurice Sendak has painted some of his most glorious pictures, catching the moon's illumination of the grass, the house, and the dancing children." The first edition of The Moon Jumpers appeared in 1959 under the Harper & Brothers imprint. In 1960, Harper & Brothers merged with Row-Peterson. Not long afterward, Harper & Row reissued a number of Sendak books, including this one. See Hanrahan A36. The former owner of this inscribed book was Maurice Sendak's neighbor, Andrew, from Ridgefield, Connecticut. Sendak bought a home and studio in Ridgefield in 1972 with his longtime partner, Eugene Glynn, and lived there until his death. Andrew first encountered Sendak in 1975 during one of his daily dog walks. (Sendak owned many dogs throughout his life, and they often starred in his books.) Andrew was immediately taken with Sendak, who reminded him of his recently deceased father. One day, Andrew called Sendak at home and asked if he could join him on his walks. Andrew and Sendak thus embarked on a 37-year friendship that also included the Andrew's mother, Betty, as well as Andrew's brother. Sendak went on long walks and hikes with Andrew and his family regularly, discussing general life events, opera, and books. He also invited them into his studio to show off works in progress. Andrew's mother, Betty, was an avid reader and collector and she and Sendak would talk late into the night about books. Sendak offered Betty advice about how to find and authenticate rare children's books, which she used to build her collection. Additionally, he frequently bartered for autographs (i.e. a cake for an inscribed drawing). In inscriptions, Betty is often referred to as "Elizabeth"; Sendak felt that her name was "common" and didn't suit her. The many inscribed drawings, along with first editions, signed books, limited edition books, and other valuable items grew into one of the country's premier Sendak collections.
Book near-fine, with a few spots of foxing to endpapers. Price-clipped dust jacket extremely good, with slight stain to rear flap, stray mark to rear panel, and light wear mainly to spine ends.