Maurice Sendak dead at 83: 'Where The Wild Things Are' beloved author and illustrator passes

Maurice Sendak dead at 83: 'Where The Wild Things Are' beloved author and illustrator passes

Hartford : CT : USA | May 08, 2012 at 7:33 AM PDT
Views: Pending
President Obama Reads

Maurice Sendak, creator of the classic children's story "Where the Wild Things Are," has died at age 83 of complications from a recent stroke, the New York Times reported.

"Sendak was born in Brooklyn, New York to Polish Jewish immigrant parents Sarah (née Schindler) and Philip Sendak, a dressmaker.[1][2][3] Sendak described his childhood as a "terrible situation" because of his extended family dying in The Holocaust, which exposed him at an early age to death and the concept of mortality.[4] His love of books began at an early age when he developed health problems and was confined to his bed.[5] He decided to become an illustrator after viewing Walt Disney's film Fantasia at the age of twelve. One of his first professional commissions was to create window displays for the toy store F.A.O. Schwarz. His illustrations were first published in 1947 in a textbook titled Atomics for the Millions by Dr. Maxwell Leigh Eidinoff. He spent much of the 1950s illustrating children's books written by others before beginning to write his own stories."

Sendak's classic story, 'Where the Wild Things Are' captured the hearts of millions of children worldwide. The language is beautifully lyrical, and the story one that every child could relate to, of being naughty and being sent to bed...'without his supper...where a boat sailed by and took him off through night and day and almost over a where the wild things are!' After a grand adventure Max finally return to the safe warmth of his room, "...where he found his supper waiting for him....and it was still hot!"

In an interview last fall, Sendak spoke on many things, with the same passionate honestly that was his trademark:

At 83, Sendak is still enraged by almost everything that crosses his landscape. In the first 10 minutes of our meeting, he gets through:

Ebooks: "I hate them. It's like making believe there's another kind of sex. There isn't another kind of sex. There isn't another kind of book! A book is a book is a book."

New York: "You get pushed and harassed and people grope you. It's too tumultuous, it's too crazy!"

The American right: "These Republican schnooks would be comical if they weren't not funny."

On a personal note, I loved this book passionately, and know it by heart. For years I taught drama to children, and this story was one that we re-enacted many many times. Ihe children would make masks for the role of the Wild Things, and I even had a little wooden boat with the name 'Max' on it, for the part where he sails away. There was always a cathartic effect upon us all when we all shouted together:

"..The wild things roared their terrible roars,

And gnashed their terrible teeth,

And rolled their terrible eyes,

And showed their terrible claws...."

....and as we acted out the roaring and gnashing and rolling of eyes and slashing of claws we all became the wild things for that special moment, were given permission to celebrate the wildness within, knowing that we would soon be safely returned to the safety of Max's room and his still hot supper.

Thank you for the joy of these stories, Maurice Sendak. I dream that Max's little boat will carry you to the island where the Wild Things are, to dance and howl at the moon with all your dear old friends.

1 of 2
Actor Keener kisses author Sendak before the premiere of the film "Where The Wild Things Are" in New York
Actor Keener kisses author Sendak before the premiere of the film "Where The Wild Things Are" in New York
MichelleDevlin is based in Barrie, Ontario, Canada, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
Report Credibility
  • Clear
  • Share:
  • Share
  • Clear
  • Clear
  • Clear
  • Clear

News Stories

  • 85: Maurice Sendak
    Maurice Bernard Sendak (born June 10, 1928, in Brooklyn, New York) is an American writer and illustrator of children's literature who is best known for his book Where the Wild Things Are, published in 1963. Sendak was born in Brooklyn, New York, to...
  • Maurice Sendak dies at age 83

      USA Today Life
    The New York Times reports the cause was complications from a recent stroke, said Michael di Capua, his longtime editor. Sendak was known for more than a dozen picture books he wrote and illustrated himself, most famously Where the Wild Things Are ,...
  • Author Maurice Sendak dies at 83

    His long-time editor, Michael di Capua, told the The New York Times the author died in Danbury, Connecticut, after complications from a recent stroke. He wrote some 17 books and was a prolific illustrator, but was best-known for his 1963 tale of Max,...
  • Maurice Sendak, author of 'Where the Wild Things Are,' dead at 83

      CNN Blog
    Maurice Sendak, author of the classic children's book "Where the Wild Things Are," died from complications after a stroke on Tuesday, said Erin Crum, a spokeswoman for HarperCollins Publishers. Sendak illustrated nearly 100 books during a 60-year...
  • Children's writer Maurice Sendak dead at 83 - New York Times

    Topics A photographer takes pictures of a street sign commemorating the area where author Maurice Sendak wrote the book ''Where The Wild Things Are'', in New York October 14, 2009. American writer and illustrator Maurice Sendak, who is best known for...
  • Maurice Sendak, Author Of ‘Where The Wild Things Are,' Dies At 83

      International Business Times
    Children's author and illustrator Maurice Sendak died early Tuesday morning at the age of 83, reports the New York Times . Sendak is best known for his books "Where The Wild Things Are," and "In The Night Kitchen." He died in Danbury, Conn., from...


  • Talespinning: Where the wild things live forever
    The wild things roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws but Max stepped into his private boat and waved goodbye. I get goosebumps reading the next lines, which ...



More From Allvoices

Related People

Report Your News Got a similar story?
Add it to the network!

Or add related content to this report

Most Commented Reports

Use of this site is governed by our Terms of Use Agreement and Privacy Policy.

© Allvoices, Inc. 2008-2014. All rights reserved. Powered by PulsePoint.