There have been magicians in the world of children's writing and, surely, Maurice Sendak was one. He died today, and I'm crying for the loss of man I never met face-to-face, but I loved him just the same.
Children misbehaved, faced their monsters and figured out a thing or two about surviving this world: But the wild things cried, “Oh please don’t go - we’ll eat you up - we love you so!” And Max said, “No!” 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 say so much about the fluidity of time and memory: and [he] sailed back over a year and in and out of weeks and through a day...
Maurice Sendak wrote and illustrated many books besides the Caldecott medal winner, WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, of course.
I adored reading the joyful CHICKEN SOUP WITH RICE: A Book of Months out loud to my daughter:
it's so nice
on the sliding ice
to sip hot chicken soup
sipping chicken soup
Oh, please don't go, Maurice, we love you so. But since you must thank you for the stories you gave us. They will live on and on in our hearts, in our minds and in book collections everywhere.
Listen to Maurice Sendak read WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE.