Thursday, May 10, 2012

RIP, Maurice Sendak: Off to a "wild rumpus"...

"And now," cried Max, "let the wild rumpus start!"

The world lost a genius with the passing of children's author and illustrator Maurice Sendak on Tuesday, just short of his 84th birthday. While his works included the wonderful In the Night Kitchen and the fantastic musical, Really Rosie (brought to life through the music of Carole King), he is probably best known for the incredibly memorable Where the Wild Things Are, which was published in 1963. It's amazing how such a short book could contain such power, and teach generation after generation how to master your feelings without losing your childish side.

Sendak was an incredibly funny, generous, brilliant man, and he showed his sense of humor by appearing several times on The Colbert Report. Science fiction author Neil Gaiman said after Sendak's death, "He was unique, grumpy, brilliant, gay, wise, magical and made the world better by creating art in it." (Sendak lived with his partner, psychoanalyst Dr. Eugene Glynn, for 50 years before Glynn's death in 2007.)

Where the Wild Things Are continues to touch my heart years and years(!) after I first read it. I am saddened by Maurice Sendak's death but grateful the world had the opportunity to experience his genius. And what better way to express my feelings than with his words, "Oh, please don't go—we'll eat you up—we love you so!"

Thank you, Mr. Sendak, for giving us the gift of Max and the monsters, and the power of dreams.

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