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  • Goodbye Maurice Sendak

    Just read that Maurice Sendak has died. We’ve gotten a lot of enjoyment from his books at this house, particularly the Little Bear books. Everyone goes to Where The Wild Things Are as the touchstone for Sendak, but as a kid mine was In The Night Kitchen. I loved the Winsor McKay inspired imagery and would laugh my head off at the little naked boy, which apparently caused it to be banned in several places. I’m not sure I’m convinced by Sendak’s later claims that much of it was referencing the Holocaust, as I’ve known lots of authors to add interesting backstory- Dr. Seuss did it quite a bit too. It’s brilliant enough even without that.

    Since I was recently writing about Roald Dahl I’m remembering Sendak’s critique of him saying Dahl’s works were too mean-spirited, which I disagree with. Children’s authors can be especially damning of each other, but Sendak’s harsh wit makes his interviews very listenable too. Thanks for a lifetime of excellent work and hours of fine reading, Maurice.

    Comments

    Comment from Eric
    Time: May 8, 2012, 10:11 pm

    The Night Kitchen was my favorite too! I think kids might gravitate to Wild Things because it’s easier to make a Halloween costume for Max. Well, not easier, but less likely to have the neighbors call Social Services on your parents.