Tuesday, May 8, 2012

In Memoriam: Maurice Sendak 1928-2012

Children's book writer and illustrator. Little Bear (illus.) Where the Wild Things Are. In the Night Kitchen.

"I don't believe that there's a demarcation. 'Oh, you mustn't tell them [children] that. You mustn't tell them that.' You tell them anything you want. Just tell them if it's true. If it's true, you tell them."

"Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters, sometimes very hastily, but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, 'Dear Jim: I loved your card.' Then I got a letter back from his mother, and she said, 'Jim loved your card so much he ate it.' That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it."

"And now," cried Max, "let the wild rumpus start!"


  1. Love that story of the little boy, he ate the note.
    Absolutely perfect !

    cheers, parsnip

  2. I hope it didn't spoil his supper, parsnip.

  3. Replies
    1. I agree, Jim, which is why I felt I should take note of his passing.

  4. i listened to interview with him, done last year, on npr with terry gross. she had interviewed him several times, it was obvious that they had a connection. it made me cry, for lots of reasons. here, if you want it.

  5. Thanks for giving me the link, rraine. Well, that last interview was certainly sad, but all in all, he seemed like a thoughtful, witty, if somewhat cantankerous artist clearly dedicated to his craft. I've seen other interviews with him throughout the years. I remember one a decade ago or so with Bill Moyers, who asked him what happened to Max, the hero of WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, after he grew up. Sendak said he ended up in therapy.

    Listening to those radio interviews, it was interesting hearing his voice grow old. Our vocal cords age right along with the rest of us. I found the contrast between Terry Gross' smooth radio delivery and Sendak's gravelly New Yawkese interesting, too.

    Weird things interest me.


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