Tuesday, May 08, 2012

RIP Mr. Sendak

Maurice Sendak has died.  Most folks will recall him for his book Where the Wild Things Are.  It's a wonderful book with a naughty protagonist, Max.  It was rather revolutionary in that it was descriptive of the inner life of a child rather than prescriptive in how the child should behave.  Sendak respected his audience enough to let them be who they were.



Among my favorite Maurice Sendak works are the illustrations to Elsie Holmelund Minarik's Little Bear series of books.  I had such fond memories of those books as a child that when I became a mother I sought them out for my own children.  I loved how Little Bear's own imaginary life was depicted and validated.

Mr. Sendak, thank you for giving children credit for greater sophistication than many grown-ups conceive and for both sparking and celebrating imagination for generations.  You live on in your wonderful books and illustrations.  And now, let the wild rumpus start!

13 comments:

Rob said...

First George Lyndsey (Goober Pyle) and now Maurice Sendak. Two of my childhood icons gone within days of each other! I think Mr. Sendak may have made more of a lasting mark -- but, for a brief time, both will be equally missed by me!

Craig said...

We'll eat you up, we love you so!

All our kids have loved Wild Things. It was like they could let their imaginations run a little wild for the few minutes it took to read it to them. . .

I hadn't made the connection that Sendak illustrated the 'Little Bear' books. We've had a bit of fun with those, too. . .

haphazardlife said...

I loved Where the Wild Things Are and gave it to so many kids. And bought myself a copy of course.

Bijoux said...

'Little Bear' illustrations were always a favorite of mine as well.

silly rabbit said...

His books were all delightful. Having my very own Max made "Where the Wild Things Are" a must for our home reading. But all of his books managed to make it home from the library on many occasions. I read them at home and read them to classes at the school. I can't say enough about them. I think Mr. Sendak was a treasure.

coopernicus said...

He, Sendak, influenced so many. I remember having a mini-book set of his as a kid...I think it was called Chicken Soup with Rice. He will be remembered for generations to come.

Beach Bum said...

NPR replayed an old interview of Mr. Sendak Tuesday afternoon, he was a very interesting man and he will be missed.

Dave said...

Yes, Mr Sendak certainly seemed a popular childrens writer. I never saw his books as my children were grown up before he began writing - Dave

Suldog said...

It's amazing how strong our feelings can be concerning the friends of our youth, whether those friends be real or imaginary. RIP, Mr. Sendak.

Daryl Edelstein said...

such a loss .. did you see him on The Colbert Show a few weeks ago? It was wonderful .. it might be on Youtube or Comedy Central online

Craig said...

Cooper -

We had a tape of Carole King singing a bunch of kids' songs, which included 'Chicken Soup with Rice', among other wonderful stuff, that our kids wore out over the course of many years. I wonder how much of it was Sendak stuff. . .

coopernicus said...

btw...I have presented you with (sigh) another award..the Sunshine Award come see today's post...

Hilary said...

A lovely tribute, Lime. My kids loved Where the Wild Things Are.