40 Forever: Maurice Sendak


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Maurice Sendak

It’s a very sad day today in Libraryland. Beloved author/illustrator Maurice Sendak passed away at the age of 82. I met him when I was about 9 years old. My mother and I waited for hours in the rain at a book signing event in New Haven. When it was finally my turn, he took my well-worn copy of Where the Wild Things Are and scraped off the ice cream and candy drippings that were embedded in the cover. Then he drew a picture of a wild thing for me with the note “Becky-Boo!”

Sendak, Maurice. Where the Wild Things Are. New York: Harper & Row, 1963. Print.
Mr. Sendak lived in Connecticut near my old library. I had a couple of nice phone conversations with his partner regarding artwork for the library. Mr. Sendak was very generous and replaced the pieces which were destroyed in a fire.
Sendak, Maurice. Alligators All Around: An Alphabet. New York: Harper & Row, 1962. Print.
Alligators All Around is my all-time favorite alphabet book. It is one of the few alphabet books that incorporates verbs. For example, H = Having headaches, I = Imitating Indians . . . M = Making macaroni, N = Never napping, P = Pushing people, etc.
Pay tribute to this great author/illustrator by visiting your local library and checking out his books. Don’t have a library card? No problem! Just bring your photo i.d. and you should get one for free right on the spot.

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