The world bids adieu to Maurice Sendak, author of the beloved children’s classic, ‘Where the Wild Things Are.’ Sendak passed Tuesday in Danbury, Conn., due to complications of a stroke, at age 83, after 60 years of success with his most famous book, and hundreds of others.
“He opened the door for everyone who has come since in the children’s book world to write about the powerful emotional experiences of young children,” said Leonard Marcus, Children’s lit historian. “Prior to ‘Where the Wild Things Are,’ you didn’t see young children throwing tantrums in picture books. Informed by psychology, he was showing young children that those powerful unnamable feelings that they had were a natural part of being. He was also showing that to parents around the world, helping them to understand something that was alarming to them.”
Sendak inspired countless illustrators and children’s lit authors. The creator of the “Arthur” series, Marc Brown, says that “My first Sendak experience was reading ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ to my little sister and a giant light bulb went off over my head: This is something I want to do. The power of his images and the sparse verse that told volumes was very moving.”