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Dave Meany - EWU Media Relations
300 Showalter Hall
Cheney, WA 99004
phone: 509.359.6335
fax: 509.359.4701

Renowned Exhibit at EWU

Published: October 19, 2011

CHENEY, Wash. - "In a Nutshell: The Worlds of Maurice Sendak," a national traveling exhibition, which explores the influence of the Old and New worlds in the work of renowned illustrator Maurice Sendak, will be on display at Eastern Washington University's John F. Kennedy Memorial Library Oct. 27-Dec. 15. The exhibition is free and open to the public during the Kennedy Library's regular hours of operation (located at Persons with special needs may make arrangements for accommodations by calling the dean's office at 359.2264 one week prior to the event.

Maurice Sendak is best known as the illustrator of more than 100 picture books, including Where the Wild Things Are and In the Night Kitchen. He was born in 1928 to Polish immigrants in Brooklyn, and his childhood was typically American in a number of ways. Many of his works are populated with friends, family and the sights, sounds and smells of New York in the 1930s. At the same time, he became fascinated as a child with the worn black-and-white photographs of his European relatives, and the influence of both of these worlds - the threads of Jewish family, geography and culture - can all be seen in his imaginative works.

In conjunction with the exhibit, the Spokane County Library District will screen Where the Wild Things Are as the After School Special film during the month of October. Check library locations and times at

With support of the EWU Board of Trustees' Diversity Initiative, EWU Libraries and Temple Beth Shalom will host the following events, which are free and open to the public:

  • Wednesday, Nov. 2, 6-8 p.m., JFK Library, Cheney campus - The Opening Reception for "In a Nutshell: The Worlds of Maurice Sendak" will feature opening remarks by Rabbi Michael Goldstein of Temple Beth Shalom. Enjoy Jewish music performed by The Kosher Red Hots, our local klezmer band. The vocalists sing in Yiddish, Ladino and English, and the band includes master instrumentalists on clarinet, mandolin, bass and guitar. Listen to local storyteller Karrie Brown share stories from the Jewish tradition. Kosher light refreshments provided.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 9, 6:30-8 p.m., JFK Library, Cheney campus - Performance of selections from the musical Really Rosie (book by Maurice Sendak and music by Carole King). The Spokane Area Children's Chorus will perform under artistic direction of EWU Associate Professor Kristina Ploeger, with and introduction by Berdine S. Bender, choir leader at Temple Beth Shalom. Light refreshments served.
  • Monday, Nov. 14, 6-7:30 p.m., Moran Prairie Branch Library, Spokane - Panel discussion of Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Maurice Sendak, the documentary of Sendak by Lance Bangs and Spike Jonze. Following a screening of selections from the documentary, EWU Professor Emeritus Marilyn Carpenter, PhD, will moderate a lively discussion of Sendak with panelists Rabbi Tamar Malino, executive director Jewish Family Services; Samuel Ligon, EWU assistant professor of creative writing, Darcy Bradley, PhD, EWU assistant professor of reading and Daniel Bigler, EWU lecturer in children's studies. Light refreshments served.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 30, 3-4 p.m. JFK Library, Cheney campus and 7-8 p.m. Temple Beth Shalom - "Over There--And Over Here: An Overview of Holocaust and Immigration in Sendak and Other Jewish Children's Literature" with Rita Berman Frischer, a librarian/reviewer/writer specializing in children's literature. In addition to serving as library director at Sinai Temple in West Los Angeles for 20 years, Frischer has written book reviews for publications including the L.A. Jewish Journal and Reform Judaism, as well as chapters for several books on Jewish literature and learning. She has lectured internationally on Jewish children's literature and served as a judge for numerous book awards, including those granted by the Association of Jewish Libraries, the Jewish Book Council and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. Since her move to Seattle in 2008, she has written reviews for JTNews in Seattle and continued to serve as a book judge for the Once Upon A World Children's Book Award, sponsored by the Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance Library.

"In a Nutshell" was organized by the Rosenbach Museum & Library, Philadelphia, and developed by Nextbook, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting Jewish literature, culture and ideas, and the American Library Association Public Programs Office. The national tour of the exhibit has been made possible by grants from the Charles H. Revson Foundation, the Righteous Persons Foundation, the David Berg Foundation and an anonymous donor, with additional support from Tablet Magazine: A New Read on Jewish Life.

Please contact Nadean Meyer, Learning Resource Librarian, at 509.359.4262 or for more information or visit



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