“I refuse to lie to children.” Maurice Sendak, RIP

Here’s the first paragraph of the NY Times obit:

…widely considered the most important children’s book artist of the 20th century, who wrenched the picture book out of the safe, sanitized world of the nursery and plunged it into the dark, terrifying and hauntingly beautiful recesses of the human psyche, died on Tuesday in Danbury, Conn. He was 83.

In our house, we’ve read and re-read and re-read Where The Wild Things Are and gone through three sets of the tiny red four-box set. Lately, I have been quoting Pierre’s obnoxious “I DON’T CARE,” over and over again.

Pretty punk really...

Lest we forget, he also illustrated the very sweet A Kiss for Little Bear with its famous “too much kissing.”

and that kiss gets passed from one animal to another

In book after book, Mr. Sendak upended the staid, centuries-old tradition of American children’s literature, in which young heroes and heroines were typically well scrubbed and even better behaved; nothing really bad ever happened for very long; and everything was tied up at the end in a neat, moralistic bow.

He will be missed but will, through his books, live on.

Here’s the link to the Times obituary.


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