Sad news today...Maurice Sendak died today. Here is a lovely article in the New York Times about him and here is the last interview he gave on Fresh Air with Terry Gross. In the Terry Gross interview it sounds like he was ready. And here also is a collection of interviews and reflections from NPR. He was a game changer and a total original and someone who made his mark by being brave and curious and brilliant.
Here is a little excerpt from Leonard Marcus's book Dear Genius, which is about the legendary editor, Ursula Nordstrom. It is a from a letter she wrote after Where the Wild Things Are came out. She writes to a journalist named Nat Hentoff:
You asked me how "revolutionary" Where the Wild Things Are is. There have been a good many fine picture books in the past. (Some by Margaret Wise Brown, and illustrated by one of two or three or four talented artists. [Sendak]) But I think Where the Wild Things Are is the first complete work of art in the picture book field, conceived, written, illustrated, executed entirely by one person of authentic genius. Most books are written from the outside in. But Wild Things comes from the inside out, if you know what I mean. And I think Maurice's book is the first picture book to recognize the fact that children have powerful emotions, anger and love and hate and only after all that passion, the wanting the be "where someone loved him best of all."
Bye Mr. Sendak and thank you.
A signed copy I'm lucky to own.