Maurice Sendak, author of the popular and iconic children’s book Where the Wild Things Are has died at the age of 83. He was known for his clever take on the difficult aspects of childhood. According to The Wrap:
“While other authors and illustrators recoiled from the darker side of childhood, Sendak embraced it. Though he wrote and illustrated some 20 of his own stories — while illustrating dozens of others — none were as celebrated as the 1963 “Where the Wild Things Are,” a sometimes melancholy story of a young boy, Max, who is banished to his room and runs away to a land filled with beasts who “let the wild rumpus start.”
In 2009, Sendak’s tale was adapted into a feature length motion picture directed by Spike Jonze. The film featured the voice talents of James Gandolfini and Catherine O’Hara. The role of the little boy Max was portrayed by Max Records, who gets my vote for coolest name ever.
Personally, I wasn’t aware of Where the Wild Things Are
growing up. My husband, on the other hand, grew up reading and loving it. When we had our daughter Ellie in October 2010, we made sure a copy was prominently placed on her bookshelf. In addition to Where the Wild Things Are, we also have the book Bears
written by Ruth Krauss and illustrated by Sendak. His stories are simple, heartfelt, and a pleasure to read.
In a recent interview with Stephen Colbert on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report, Sendak remarked:
“I don’t write for children, I write. And somebody says, ‘That’s for children.’ I didn’t set out to make children happy, or make life better for them, or easier for them. … I like them as few and far between as I do adults. Maybe a bit more because I really don’t like adults.”
Farewell, Mr. Sendak.