National Obituary Review

Dead Person of the Day – May 9 – Maurice Sendak

0 Comments 09 May 2012


Maurice Sendak is our DPD today. Most of you are probably familiar with his greatest piece of work – ‘Where the Wild Things Are’.

Mr. Sendak was revolutionary in the way he approached children’s literature. He didn’t sugar coat anything. His kids misbehaved and didn’t regret it and in their dreams and nightmares fled to the most unimaginable places. His stories were haunting and disobedience was celebrated.

Sendak never had children which, in my opinion, helped him NOT look upon childhood with the veneer of romanticism that so many adults have. Responsible for his own illustrations (as well as writing) Sendak’s child characters never looked like the kids you saw in traditional commercials and always had some hefty emotional baggage they were dealing with.

He spoke to children as people and not as children…which is commendable and necessary in my opinion.

Taking a page out of Mr. Miserable’s playbook he seemed to act out everyone’s fantasy of a nasty old man with a hidden and generous heart. No one granted the privilege could forget his snarly smile, his raspy, unprintable and adorable dismissals of such modern piffle as e-books and publicity tours, his misleading insistence that his life didn’t matter.

Mixed in with his irreverence curmudgeonly-ness was an irrefutable and amazing talent. Sendak was involved in production with Sesame St, he designed the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s “Nutcracker” production and he was also involved in film.

Maurice Sendak folks. He was a great American and champion of not being a jerk-off to kids.

`Where The Wild Things Are’ author Maurice Sendak dies

By SAMANTHA CRITCHELL, Associated Press Writer

1:16 p.m. EDT, May 8, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) — Maurice Sendak didn’t think of himself as a children’s author, but as an author who told the truth about childhood.

“I like interesting people and kids are really interesting people,” he explained to The Associated Press last fall. “And if you didn’t paint them in little blue, pink and yellow, it’s even more interesting.” Continue

- who has written 512 posts on The Shade.

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