Maurice Sendak RIP

Maurice Sendak

“Please don’t go. We’ll eat you up. We love you so.”

Rest in Peace, Maurice Sendak, beloved author and illustrator…

Did you long to join in the rumpus with the Wild Things? Or were the quieter adventures of Little Bear more to your taste? Was In the Night Kitchen banned from your school library? Or did you receive your first lessons in “Etiquette for All Occasions” studying Sendak’s illustrations for What Do You Say, Dear?

For the past 50 years, Maurice Sendak has been the beloved companion of American children and their parents. Tattered copies of Where the Wild Things Are have passed between generations and snippets of rhyme have become permanently embedded in brains:

“In January
it’s so nice
while slipping
on the sliding ice
to sip hot chicken soup
with rice.
Sipping once
sipping twice
sipping chicken soup
with rice.”

This evening let’s pull out the wrinkled, well-worn copies of our favorite Maurice Sendak storybooks, have a good read, and give thanks.

Here are a few of our favorite interviews with Maurice Sendak:

“Once upon a time Maurice Sendak wandered into a dark forest. Childhood has never been the same.”

Sendak offers insights into Where the Wild Things Are in his interview with Bill Moyers.

“I have nothing now but praise for my life. I’m not unhappy. I cry a lot because I miss people. They die and I can’t stop them. They leave me and I love them more. …What I dread is the isolation. …There are so many beautiful things in the world which I will have to leave when I die, but I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready.”

In November of last year, Terry Gross talked with Maurice Sendak about his new book and old age.

“He was a man of ardent enthusiasms – for music, art, literature, argument and the essential rightness of children’s perceptions of the world around them.”

The New York Times’ obituary is a fine introduction to Maurice Sendak’s life and accomplishments.