I Heart Indies

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Maurice Sendak 1928-2012

I am not the only blogger today who will write about Maurice Sendak.
I was seven or eight years old when my mother came home from the Ft. Pierce city library saying, "You're going to love this book!"
You will not need to wonder what book it was.
My mother's favorite part - always a poet at heart - was the line where Max sailed in and out of weeks, and for most people it was the monsters - "Let the wild rumpus begin!" - but for me it was the transformation of Max's room into a jungle: the dresser and wall paper that sprouted into lush undergrowth as Max danced, astounded at his own good luck or else his incantatory powers.
Sendak never equalled that book.  He continued prolific, and his last book was published only eight months before his death, but it is for Where the Wild Things Are he will be remembered.  To create a classic is no small thing.


  1. It's no surprise, I don't think, that most great children's books are loved for the illustrations as much as for the actual story. The illustrations can range from the tremendously detailed like Graeme Base's, to the very simplistic like Crockett Johnson's. And Dr. Zeuss, of course, is my favorite illustrator of all time. Martin Handford's "Where's Waldo" books are a wonderful series based entirely on illustrations, with barely enough "story" to set up a panoramic scene. And as wonderful as the "Curious George" stories are, they would not be nearly so delightful without those sweet drawings by the Reys. (Though I must admit, my favorite part of the series was always when the Man in the Yellow Hat would say: "You stay here, George, and don't get into trouble!" I would always wonder: "WHAT? You stupid idiot...how many times you gonna try this? What do you THINK is going to happen?")
    I do think that "Where the Wild Things Are" has just about the finest last line of any book I've ever read.

  2. How can ANYONE be so dumb that they misspell "Dr. Seuss"?

  3. Dear Man,

    Thanks for your tribute--I enjoyed reading it and seeing the life-long impression he made on you.