It is with great sadness that I tell you the beloved author and illustrator of Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak, has passed away. As a child, Where the Wild Things Are was a novel that truly exemplified imagination, curiosity, and what it meant to be a misunderstood kid. This book was one of my favorites, as I am sure it was also many of yours, and the death of Sendak is incredibly disheartening. His writings and illustrations illuminated children’s literature and Sendak’s name was one associated with creativity and, of course, pure talent. Today, the literary world has lost a very important person. Where the Wild Things Are spawned adaptations of all kinds, including a fantasy one-act opera and a motion picture adaptation.
The 2009 feature film was directed by Spike Jonze and included an array of tools used to create Max’s dream world. The combination of CGI animation, costumes, puppetry, and live-action made for a visually stimulating movie. Although generally positively received by critics, the honesty and truth in this adaptation left many wondering how suitable the film was for young audiences. As someone who read, and loved, the story as a child and was able to watch the film as an adult, I found it unnervingly moving and real.
Maurice Sendak was a writer who brought joy and illumination to both children and adults around the world, with just one story. I encourage you all to take a few moments today to reflect on this amazing person and rediscover your inner “Wild Thing.”
“I cry because I miss people. They die and I can’t stop them. They leave me and I love them more.” – Maurice Sendak