Open House for Butterflies is written by Ruth Krauss and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. The book has a spirit of kinsmanship and kindness running through it. The author nudges us to be kind to ourselves through the course of our everyday strife. Useful advice that will make you smile, is served up.

Sendak when talking about Ruth said, "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"

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Open House for Butterflies was the output of much thoughtful consideration and discussion. The book was published in 1960. The De Grummond Children's Literature Collection at The University of Mississippi, informs us:

In the published book, lines of text were printed in small, medium, and big type, or in combinations of the three. When making the typescript from which the printer would prepare the galley, Krauss grouped lines of text together depending on the size of their typeface. She also added some handwritten notes for the printer. The use of different typefaces was intended to allow Krauss and Sendak to "play" with the text of the book.

In George.R.Bodmer's Ruth Krauss and Maurice Sendak's Early Illustration, the collaborative process is discussed.

The pictures and text were done separately but the text came first. Then we would sit on the floor with everything at random and put together the units one at a time. Sometimes a lot of text would get a little picture or else a line would have these extra things that were too good to be wasted, and they became the corner pieces.

Krauss Ruth was a voracious reader and a prolific artist as a child. By the time she reached the eighth grade, she quit school to pursue studying the violin and art. She graduated in a B.A. degree from the Parsons School of Fine and Applied Art in New York City and had a keen interest in anthropology. This led her to understand that children quickly absorbed values, especially cultural. She learned that any values that one hoped a child should grow up with must be taught early.



The tiny people that populate Open House for Butterflies are wonderfully detailed, and bring the words to life.  Maurice Sendak captures the kindness, the independence, and matter-of- fact'ness' of Krauss’s writing.


For children who take their steps through life, and for parents looking for guides and how to walk better with their kids on the aforementioned steps of life, Open House for Butterflies is a wonderful guide.

Buy by clicking on the link below:

Open House for Butterflies: Krauss, Ruth, Sendak, Maurice:
Open House for Butterflies: Krauss, Ruth, Sendak, Maurice: