We are sad to hear of the passing of one of our favorite humans. We look back on an ode we wrote for him in 2011:

Ok before I get started, we need to get something adorable out of the way. Something that will bias you into loving this man like I do.

This is Sendak's dog Herman. NAMED AFTER HERMAN MELVILLE. SITTING ON A WILD THINGS RUG. I KNOW. IT'S AMAZING. It's true. It's all true. The dog. The Melville. The rug. It's all true.
He was once quoted in an interview on PBS about Melville, "My gods are Herman Melville, Emily Dickenson, Mozart. I believe in them with all my heart." IKNOWRITE. Swoon. For being a children's book author, he's not really...child-like...so to speak. He attributes this difference between himself and other typical children's book authors--especially when he started out--to his Jewish European background. In an interview with Npr's Jennifer Ludden, he remembers the many bedtime stories about Jewish friends and relatives dying horrible deaths and how it gave him insomnia, as well as a sense that he could never really be joyful in the presence of his parents without feeling guilty. WOMPWOMP. When Wild Things came out, parents and librarians freaked out because they thought it was too scary, little did they know Sendak's favorite thing to do is scare children. True story. Same interview.
Ok so are you ready to hear the most beautiful thing ever? I can't wait. I'm doing it now. I'm playing my trump card.

"I picked a modest form...I didn't have a lot of confidence, I hid inside this modest form called the children's book and expressed myself entirely. I wasn't going to paint, I wasn't going to do ostentatious drawings, I wasn't going to have gallery pictures, I was going to hide somewhere where nobody could find me."

CCCCCCCCCRRRRRRRRRRRYYYYYYYYYYYYIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGG.

This is from an interview with Bill Moyers, YOU NEED to watch it. It's only 17 mins. Here, DO IT. And if you want to hear him call Mickey Mouse a whore, listen to this interview. He used to be obsessed with Mickey, in fact was inspired to draw because of Fantasia, and has an incredible collection of Mickey shiz.

He even wrote Walt Disney a letter asking him to adopt him, but never heard back. He has since become disillusioned with Disney, hence the whore comment.

Ok here's the next super awesome hilarious thing. After years and years of apprenticing and illustrating other people's books (there's like a billion) he finally gets his chance. So he goes to his editor, Ursula, whom he describes as "torrential" (another reason i love this man) and pitches her the title for his yet unwritten book,

 WHERE THE WILD HORSES ARE

I'm sorry. I'm not sure you heard me. Let's try that again. The original title of Where the Wild Things Are was

WHERE THE WILD HORSES ARE

But here's the best part. He then realized he COULDN'T DRAW HORSES. I'm sorry. I'm not sure you heard me.

 HE REALIZED HE COULDN'T DRAW HORSES

That's pretty much adorable.

Oh and get this. This is messed up. His book, 'Outside, Over There' published in 1981, is a story about a girl who resents her baby sister and then the baby gets stolen by goblins and she has to go into the goblin world to rescue her. Now let me tell you about a movie called Labyrinth from 1988. It's a story about a girl who resents her baby brother and the the baby gets stolen by goblins and she has to go into the goblin world to rescue him. I don't think you heard me. A story about a girl....ok i won't.

Oh and also get this. He illustrated an unpublished edition of the Hobbit. It's part of the Rosenbach Museaum and Library in Philly along with thousands of pieces of Sendak memorabilia. Oh and get this. Spike Jonze made a documentary about him called 'Tell Them Anything You Want' which follows Sendak during the making of Where the Wild Things Are--a movie that I want tattooed all over my body, all the images in it, on my body, for always.

 

 

Thanks Maurice, for hiding in these books, for expressing yourself entirely, and for bringing out the beasts.
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So, what do you think?