And he sailed off through night and day
and in and out of weeks
and almost over a year
to where the wild things are.
Another seminal figure who helped shape our childhood has died. Maurice Sendak, author and prolific illustrator of 1963’s Where the Wild Things Are and so many others, has passed away early this morning in Danbury, Connecticut. He suffered a stroke four days ago and was 83 at the time.
Who hasn’t read Where the Wild Things Are? There wasn’t another children’s book like it. It frankly dealt with emotions, like anger within children, in an unsentimental and revolutionary manner. It was dark, haunting, imaginative and beautiful simultaneously. Once censored and banned in libraries when it first came out, most recently, it was beautifully read by an animated President Barack Obama to children attending the 2012 White House Easter celebration (see video below). How about that for vindication and legacy? Not that Sendak even cared about that stuff; never deterred or propelled by the reception of others.
Watch the TateShots piece above with an amusing and brutally honest Sendak.
Another pioneer will be missed.
Maurice Sendak didn’t think of himself as a children’s author, but as an author who told the truth about childhood.
“I like interesting people and kids are really interesting people,” he explained to The Associated Press last fall. “And if you didn’t paint them in little blue, pink and yellow, it’s even more interesting.”
“From their earliest years children live on familiar terms with disrupting emotions — fear and anxiety are an intrinsic part of their everyday lives, they continually cope with frustrations as best they can,” he said upon receiving the Caldecott Medal in 1964 for “Where the Wild Things Are,” his signature book. “And it is through fantasy that children achieve catharsis. It is the best means they have for taming wild things.”
- The New York Times: Maurice Sendak, Author of Splendid Nightmares, Dies at 83
- Los Angeles Times:Maurice Sendak dies at 83, author of ‘Where the Wild Things Are’
- The Guardian UK: Maurice Sendak obituary
- The Guardian UK: Maurice Sendak’s stories opened the door to the Wild Things
- MTV: ‘Where The Wild Things Are’ Author Maurice Sendak: A Big-Screen Tribute
via Mr. GIF
via Henry the Worst