11 May 2012

A Tribute to Maurice Sendak


11 May 2012
Almost 52 (!) years old
Melbourne
I am not the kind of woman who has stuffed toys on her bed, but I have a small Wild Thing on my bedside table.
Where the Wild Thing Are is one of my most favourite books. Even now, 40-odd years since I first heard it, it makes me cry. The illustrations are sublime – playful, colourful and intricate, the words tug at my heart, But the wild things cried, ‘Oh please don’t go–we’ll eat you up–we love you so!’
I shed a few tears on Wednesday when I heard that Maurice Sendak had passed away. What an amazing writer and illustrator he was. Apparently he was the first illustrator to devote an entire spread to a drawing, without any words what-so-ever. In the Wild Things there are three consecutive spreads that are purely visual. That would have taken guts back then, but he could get away with it, because his drawings were so magical, so beautiful and so full of meaning.
I still remember the first time I heard and saw Where the Wild Thing Are. Our library teacher Mr Porter read it to our class. I think I was in grade four. I loved going to the library and I really liked Mr Porter, and though he must have read other books aloud to us, this is the one that I clearly remember being entranced by.
It speaks to me about the wildness of childhood (and beyond, for some of us), the power of imagination, the joy of mischief, the pain of separation and the power of homecoming. It’s such a special book. Thank you and farewell Maurice Sendak

3 comments:

  1. Always one of my favorites too. I was sad to hear of his passing. I love your little stuffed friend!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have my childhood copy of the book still, one of very few items I still have from that early in life.

    ReplyDelete