Where The Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak RememberedPosted: May 8, 2012 | |
Maurice Sendak, most notably the writer and illustrator of the children’s book Where The Wild Things Are, passed away today. There were many books I loved as a child, Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss, Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans, and of course Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. Like the other author’s on my list, Mr. Sendak dared to do something different with his writing. He created a world of imperfect heroes, creepy characters, and dark story-lines.
The story of a child leaving his parents in an angry huff, venturing out on a boat to find a monster inhabited island, declaring himself the king of that island, and making the journey back home in time for dinner was, in my 5-year-old mind, motivating. Imagination should be untamed. Stories that broke the mold of fairy tales of wholesome characters and happy endings sent a different message to children reading them. “Heroes” can be strong willed and full of pride, “villains” can have feelings and may deserve our sympathy as well as a “damsel in distress”. Maurice Sendak understood that the world is not black and white, good and evil. Somehow, he created an emotionally deep and dark story that a child could understand.
Thanks Maurice Sendak for your gritty yet whimsical illustrations and inspiring story-telling. I’ve always wanted to write a children’s book, maybe now I’ll have the motivation to pull it together.