Maurice Sendak Sails Back to Where the Wild Things Are

Illustration by Maurice Sendak

“And [he] sailed back over a year
and in and out of weeks
and through a day
and into the night of his very own room
where he found his supper waiting for him
and it was still hot”
― Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are

We’re book nerds here at Canadian Family, and we’re extra lucky to be surrounded by stacks of kids’ books by talented authors and illustrators.

We’re very sad to say goodbye to one of the giants of children’s literature, Maurice Sendak.

The prolific author and illustrator died this week, aged 83, following complications from a stroke.

Every kid (and adult) has a favourite Sendak story. He’s perhaps best known for Where the Wild Things Are (which featured monsters modeled after his aunts and uncles), but equally beloved were books like The Night Kitchen (my personal fave), the silly rhymes in Chicken Soup with Rice, and the cautionary tale of Pierre (the boy who didn’t care). Sendak also lent his illustrations to Else Minarik’s Little Bear series and inked the whimsical definitions of A Hole is to Dig by Ruth Krauss.

Sendak had a stunning imagination, and a unique ability to capture a child’s-eye view of the world. His child characters were grubby, impish and frequently naughty. Sendak’s imagined landscapes were detailed, humorous and like nothing else we’ve ever seen.

The author had fans big and small, and sometimes ferociously ardent. He will be missed.

If you can’t get your hands on a Sendak book right this second, take a moment to watch this Sesame Street animated short of Bumble-Ardy, the tale of a 9-year-old boy who throws himself a wild birthday party. We love the rhymes, the story and, best-of-all Sendak’s signature inky illustrations.

Thanks to book blogger Kerry Clare for the link.

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