The Wildness of Maurice Sendak
Where The Wild Things Are was one of those books I loved re-discovering when reading picture books to my daughters several years ago. This one, along with Harold and the Purple Crayon, beautifully and brilliantly showed readers how imagination could take them to fantastic places. Others, like Dr. Seuss, showed you a fantastic place — and these were wonderful, too. But I had a soft spot for the books that started with the ordinary and moved to the extraordinary. Sendak’s Higglety Pigglety Pop!, Or: There Must Be More to Life also comes to mind, with Jennie the dog leaving the comfort of the house she lives in, so as to gain Experience.
With the loss of the comfort of home (and the authority of parents), danger was out there. Those big monsters threatened to eat Max, and they looked capable of doing it — just as the old witch certainly seemed capable of eating Hansel and Gretel with that oven of hers. But these kids managed to escape their predicament, and Max even becomes king. A wise one at that, to make sure a wild rumpus began.
Fresh Air has snippets and full interviews that Maurice Sendak did with Terry Gross from 1989 to last September, when he discussed Bumble-Ardy, his latest book (artwork from above), as well as losses in his life. A poignant interview.
Thanks Maurice for that wild rumpus of your books.