I just heard the news that Maurice Sendak, "Where The Wild Things Are" author has died at the age of 83. According to the AP, the author and illustrator suffered a stroke on Friday and died early today at a hospital in Danbury, Connecticut.
As I'm sure many can agree, Sendak's books, especially "Where The Wild Things Are," are staples on children's book shelves. I can remember reading this book over and over and over again. Although the wild things (or scary monsters as I called them) had giant eyes and bulky bodies, I grew to love them and looked forward to reading more about Max's adventures. When my dad would read the book to me, he'd use a funny voice, which I think helped me not be afraid of the wild things, but instead want to learn more about them. I can even remember my dad and I coming up with our own stories about the wild things.
It's no wonder Sendak won the Caldecott Medal in 1964 for best children's book. There isn't a child I know who hasn't gone on a "wild rumpus" because of this book, which ignited kids to use their imaginations and encourage their creativity.
Even Maggie is getting a taste of Sendak's great work. We have a few "Little Bear" books, which launched his career, that we read to her. She also watches the television show on Nick Jr. from time to to time. As Maggie already loves books, I can't wait to read her one of my childhood favorites — I figured I'd wait a few years to introduce her to the wild things and Max, and I hope they spark her imagination as they did mine.
It's a sad day in the publishing world, but I know his legacy will live on with children and adults alike.
What's your favorite Maurice Sendak book? Share your memories with us here.