Posted by: ckckred | May 8, 2012

Maurice Sendak: 1928-2012

I remember reading Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are when I was young, and I had great excitement.  It was a story that had an emotionally stricken character named Max, who runs off to the land where the wild things are, a representation of what he wanted to be.  But Max’s true wish was the acceptance of his parents.

Sendak’s book is one of the best children’s books that is loved by both adults and kids.  It’s beautifully illustrated and terrifically written.  Where the Wild Things Are won the Caldecott Medal for Best Children’s Book of 1964, and represents one of the most emotional things I’ve ever read.

So I felt sad that Sendak died at 83.  It was only a few weeks ago when he did an interview on The Colbert Report.  His great style and ingenuity has been an influence to not only children’s literature, but also to film, especially Spike Jonez.

Spike Jonez eventually made back in 2009 a film version of Where the Wild Things Are.  Sendak urged Jonez to convey the book’s emotional spirit, and the result was a movie critically praised and A. O. Scott named it the best film of the year.

Sendak said he wrote children’s books because “kids don’t know about best sellers.  They go for what they enjoy. They aren’t star chasers and they don’t suck up. It’s why I like them.”  His visual artistry will surely be remembered.

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