Maurice Sendak, the creative genius behind books such as ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ and ‘In the Night Kitchen’, has passed away at the age of 83.
Sendak is considered by many to be one of the most important children’s book artist of the 20th century. He changed they way we think about children’s books, wrenching them out of the “safe, sanitized world of the nursery and plunged it into the dark, terrifying and hauntingly beautiful recesses of the human psyche.”
In all, Sendak penned 17 books but was best known for his 1963 story Where The Wild Things Are, which followed the tale of a young boy who becomes “the king of all wild things”. The book was hugely controversial at the time of its publication. However, it eventually went on to win a prestigious Caldecott Medal for best children’s book in 1964 and was later adapted into for Hollywood by director Spike Jonze.
Sendak was born in 1928 to Jewish-Polish immigrant parents and often stated that the events of the Second World War had informed his artistic style. In 1996 he was awarded a National Medial of the Arts by then US president Bill Clinton in recognition of his vast portfolio of work.
The video above is one of my favourite interviews with Sendak. If I ever hear someone ask why there was never a Wild Things 2 again, I will be forced to think of Sendak yelling “GO TO HELL.. I’M NOT A WHORE.”