'Where The Wild Things Are' Author Maurice Sendak Dies

May 8, 2012 By:
'Where The Wild Things Are' Author Maurice Sendak Dies

The man who started the wild rumpus, passed away Tuesday at the age of 83.

Maurice Sendak, author and illustrator of “Where the Wild Things Are” and “In the Night Kitchen” died in a hospital in Danbury, Connecticut early Tuesday morning alongside longtime caregiver, Lynn Caponera.

Huffington Post reports that the author suffered a stroke on Friday.

“I write books that seem more suitable for children, and that's OK with me. They are a better audience and tougher critics,” Sandek told the Associated Press. “Kids tell you what they think, not what they think they should think."

Sendak’s dark style was not always embraced by the public. “Where the Wild Things Are” was originally published in 1963 by Harper & Row. At first, librarians claimed it was too scary for kids initially banned it from shelves. In 1964, it was awarded a Caldecott Medal as the most distinguished American picture book for children.

More important to Sendak was how kids received the story.

“Dear Mr. Sendak,” an 8-year-old boy wrote the author. “How much does it cost to get to where the wild things are? If it is not expensive, my sister and I would like to spend the summer there.”

In 2009, President Obama read “Wild Things” at the White House Easter egg roll. The book was made into a Golden Globe nominated film by Spike Jonze that same year.

Many consider Sandek the most important children’s book artist of the 20th century.

Among the many other titles Sendak also wrote and illustrated are “Outside Over There” (1981), “The Sign on Rosie’s Door” (1960), and “Higlety Piggelty Pop!” (1967). In 1996, Sendak was awarded a National Medal of the Arts for the body of work that he contributed.

“Please don't go. We'll eat you up. We love you so,” a line from “Wild Things” reads.

Sendak’s legacy lives on in the stories he leaves behind for us.