I was so sorry to read this morning that popular children’s author, Maurice Sendak, passed away this morning at the age of 83. Sendak was probably most well known as the author and illustrator of Where the Wild Things Are, the story of Max, who misbehaves and is sent to his room without supper. While in his room, Max, imagines that he rules all of the Wild Things, but eventually realizes that to quote a certain 1939 film, “there is no place like home.” (Before you say that The Wizard of Oz is a book, not just a film, you would be right except that line was never uttered in the book). Where the Wild Things Are is a great testament to the wonderful worlds our imaginations can take us, and also houses some of the most wonderfully weird illustrations from any book. Sendak’s picture books were not only great reads, they were works of art. In the Night Kitchen, another of Sendak’s homage to the wonderful imagination (or dreamworld) of children, is the book it is for the illustrations. My favorite Sendak illustrations are actually from a book written by another author, What Do You Say, Dear?. Sesyle Joslin’s gentle and amusing lesson on manners only hits home with Sendak’s silly illustrations. If it weren’t for Maurice Sendak (with help from Joslin), I would never know what to do if I was walking backward and bumped into a crocodile.
In addition to being a writer/illustrator, Maurice Sendak also was a costumer and set designer for a variety of opera and ballet productions, including The Nutcracker.
Come celebrate Sendak’s life by checking out one of his books at the library, today!
posted by Laura