Friday, June 10, 2005

Wild Things

Today is the 77th birthday of Maurice Sendak, author and illustrator of the classic children's book Where the Wild Things Are. Wild Things sent a bang throughout children's lit circles when it first appeared in 1963 because "monsters" were not included in children's books at the time. His wild things seem very tame now--but librarians thought they were bad for children when the book appeared.

Of course, children ate the book up. Sendak really never topped his classic, although I do like Chicken Soup with Rice. I also enjoyed (perversly) teaching In the Night Kitchen because the little baker with his private part hanging out always shocked my students. Sendak became more and more interested in the theater as he aged. I think he has not written a good children's book in some time.

Thank you Mr. Sendak for a wild rumpus and the warm supper waiting afterwards.

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