“Please don’t go. We’ll eat you up. We love you so.” – Where the Wild Things Are (1963).
Maurice Sendak, beloved author and illustrator, has passed away at the age of 83. Sendak’s career began in the late 1940s and boasts such classics as Where the Wild Things Are, Outside Over There (1981), and In the Night Kitchen (1970).
While Sendak has illustrated over one hundred books and written more than twenty, his 1963 release, Where the Wild Things Are, forever placed him in the hearts and imaginations of children and adults alike. The book, which made Sendak an international name in literature, sold over seventeen-million copies. The book was turned into a live action film in 2009, directed by Spike Jonze. Dave Eggers adapted the forty-eight-page story into the film’s screenplay and a published novel based on the story, The Wild Things (2009).
Sendak notoriously resented the title of “children’s author and illustrator,” feeling as though the categorization belittled his talent. He additionally saw no need to shield children from darker experiences, explaining, “I refuse to lie to children. . . . I refuse to cater to the bullshit of innocence.”
Sendak’s work gained him such awards as the Caldecott Medal for Where the Wild Things Are in 1964, the Hans Christian Andersen Award for children’s book illustration in 1970, and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2003.
Bumble-Ardy, published last year, was Sendak’s final release.