Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wednesday Writers Weigh In: The Work of Maurice Sendak

Last night I am sure hundreds of thousands of bedtimes were started with the profound words:

"The night that Max wore his wolf-suit and made mischief
of one kind
and another
his mother called him 'WILD THING!'
and Max said “I’LL EAT YOU UP!”
so he was sent to bed without eating anything."
And anyone would have been hard pressed yesterday to avoid countless reflections on the work of Maurice Sendak on the internet, television and radio.  In fact, NPR dedicated it's whole day of programming to Sendak.

In writing classes, symposiums, journals and conferences around the world Sendak is hailed as a genius.  "Where the Wild Things Are" is often called the perfect picture book.

Most of us will never see such success or impact in the world of literature.  If I get read in one stranger's house at bedtime I would be honored.  So it brings me to today's Weigh In.

Its no surprise that he is being mourned throughout the world in various communities by children and adults alike.  But why?  He was gruff, outspoken, and often polarizing.

So...from a writer's perspective, what is your reflection on Maurice Sendak and his work? 

Rest in peace, Mr. Sendak.  I pray that in the end you found the peace which alluded you so much in life.


  1. I think it a blessing and a curse that he is remembered mainly for one book. He was really into theater and set design too, most people have no idea.

  2. I have not read much Sendak, however, I think "Where the Wild Things Are" is a perfect picture book example. There's not too much text, and the fabulous ending brings you right back to the beginning, which is perfect. "And it was still hot," is one of the best last lines ever.

  3. I agree with Kirsten that "Where the Wild Things Are" is a truly perfect book. And not many people can write a perfect book.

    I also appreciated his humor, his honesty, his authenticity and his courage.