Maurice Sendak died at the age of 83 on Tuesday May 8, 2012. According to his publisher, his death was caused by complications from a recent stroke. Sendak was a children’s book author and illustrator, who had been writing for about 60 years. His most widely known and respected book was Where the Wild the Wild Things Are, but he also wrote many other books, including Chicken Soup with Rice, In the Night Kitchen and Outside Over There. He also illustrated Else Minarik’s Little Bear series of books.
Where the Wild Things Are was published in 1963, and has since been a classic work of children’s literature and a part of many children’s bedtime. It has sold over 19 million copies worldwide as of 2009. There have been many film adaptations of the book; the most recent one was a 2009 live action film. The book was awarded the Caldecott Medal in 1964.
Sendak was considered by many to the most important children’s book artist of the 20th century, and was known for elevating the art of children’s literature. His stories revolutionized the industry because they presented children as complex and imperfect beings. His headstrong characters were vastly different from the meek heroes of the other children books of the time.
Although Sendak has only passed away recently, there has been an outpouring of mourning all over the internet. Thousands of people who knew him only for his captivating stories have expressed loss over the death of the children’s author, thanking him for his books. Included in the mourners are many famous people, including popular authors such as John Green and Maureen Johnson, Questlove (the drummer for the Roots), and Andrew Stanton the director of Wall-E.
Mercy girls were also affected by the death Sendak. Many girls remember Where the Wild Things Are as their favorite childhood book.
“My elementary school would always read [Where the Wild Things Are] to us every Friday, and it was what I looked forward to all week. It was just a really great book, “ said junior Sydney Shuk.