My favorite children’s author, Maurice Sendak, died at the age of 83 this month. He was a very interesting man and wrote a great many wonderful picture books. He grew up in Brooklyn to Polish immigrant parents. He never had children and never married (although he lived with his partner until he died in 2007). His stories were often controversial with its depictions of naked children and dark subject matter but these same works have received numerous awards including the 1964 Caldecott Medal for his most famous work,Where the Wild Things are . As well as being an award winning children’s author, Sendak also illustrated not only his own works but many others as well, including the Little Bear book series. In 1970 he was awarded the Hans Christian Anderson Award for Children’s book illustration.
Every one of Sendak’s books are quite a joy to have in your classroom or family library, here are my favorites of his:
- Where the Wild Things are
- In the Night Kitchen (Caldecott Collection)
- Outside Over There (Caldecott Collection)
- Nutshell Library (Caldecott Collection)
- Higglety Pigglety Pop!: Or There Must Be More to Life
- Seven Little Monsters
- Kenny's Window (Reading Rainbow)
- The Sign on Rosie's Door
A great book to have about not only Sendak’s art and illustrations but 22 other major children’s illustrators is - Artist to Artist: 23 Major Illustrators Talk to Children About Their Art . Sendak has many more collaborative works as well as books he solely illustrated.
If you love his art and stories the way I do, you’ll want to have all of his works in your classroom or home library. He left a legacy of great work that, at least in my classroom and home, will always be recognized and revered!