A Sad Day for Wild Things

John Dugdale/HarperCollins Children’s Books

We were sad to learn today that author, illustrator, and inspiration Maurice Sendak passed away at the age of 83 today. Sendak wrote and/or illustrated more than 100 books during his career. He received a National Book Award, a Caldecott Medal, the Hans Christian Andersen Award for children’s book illustration, and the National Medal of Arts.

He taught us that sometimes our fears can be the keys to unlocking our imaginations, having stated, “. . .from their earliest years children live on familiar terms with disrupting emotions, fear and anxiety are an intrinsic part of their everyday lives, they continually cope with frustrations as best they can. And it is through fantasy that children achieve catharsis. It is the best means they have for taming Wild Things.”

YA author John Green summed up Sendak’s legacy quite well with his tweet earlier today:

Maurice Sendak taught me and millions of others that it was no sin to be a child.

— John Green (@realjohngreen) May 8, 2012

Several months back we shared this charming interview between Sendak and Colbert who talk children’s literature and clearly adore one other.

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Grim Colberty Tales with Maurice Sendak Pt. 1
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog Video Archive

Listen here to Sendak discuss his life and work with Terry Gross of WHYY’s Fresh Air  back in September 2011, followed by several other interviews spanning almost thirty years. The latest garnered the most number of listener responses according to Gross and has been re-broadcast several times already. Sendak tells Gross, “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.”

For more descriptions of Sendak’s Life and work, visit  the following links:

The New York Times: Maurice Sendak, Author of Splendid Nightmares, Dies at 83

NPR: Sendak’s Legacy: Helping Kids ‘Survive Childhood’ 


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