You’ve considered yourself pretty well read since the day your parents bought you a copy of Where the Wild Things Are.
But when it comes to literacy, your five-year-old blows you out of the water. The kid’s a reading machine. So how about a little Tony Kushner for the wee one?
Relax. We’re not suggesting that you give your child a copy of Angels in America. Kushner’s newest project, Brundibar, is a collaboration with Maurice Sendak, aimed at sophisticated young readers like your very own half-pint. Based on the old Czech opera of the same name, the story follows bro-and-sis duo Aninku and Pepicek, who embark on a mission to buy fresh milk for their ailing mom. When nasty hurdy-gurdy player Brundibar comes on the scene, things get complicated … and typical Sendakian mayhem ensues.
The illustrations are beautiful — they’ll take you back to your childhood readings of In the Night Kitchen — and the story, like all those told by its authors, is strange and wonderful. Best of all, though, it’s the sort of book your child will brag about having read when he grows up.
Thereby carrying on a hallowed family tradition.
Brundibar (Hyperion) is available online at amazon.com or at your local bookstore.