Happy Wild Thing!

Maurice Sendak b. June 10, 1928

Much to the regret of his adoring fans, celebrated author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, who brought us delicious children’s stories, died in Danbury, Connecticut on May 8, 2012.  He wrote memorable titles such as the controversial In the Night Kitchen, and collaborated on the beloved Really Rosie.

Best known for his most popular work, Where the Wild Things Are, Sendak’s ability to interpret the psyche of toddlers makes this a universal picture book.  When Max, the protagonist, does mischief of one kind or another and he is sent to bed without his supper, his toddler imagination goes to work creating a world far away from home.  It is full of wild things - benign, scary monsters who are immediately tamed by Max.  When his temper is back under control and his self-esteem restored, Max returns from his dream to his bedroom and finds his still-warm supper waiting for him.  This charming book, which draws upon a young child’s ability to soothe his own fears and anger, is a must read for every preschooler.  Sendak illustrates an early learning process deftly, gently, and with humor.  Adults are also moved by this unique story.  Sendak’s signature illustrations, which are at once earthy and whimsical, continue to inspire.  Celebrate his birthday in a curled up comfortable position with a toddler on your lap and this marvelous picture book.

-Nancy Demme


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