R.I.P. Maurice Sendak

Where the Wild Things Are author, illustrator, and television producer Maurice Sendak has died from complications following a recent stroke. He was 83 years old.

Sendak is best known for the fantastical world he crafted in his somewhat anarchic 1963 picture book Wild Things, which was adapted into a film twice; first as an animated short, and secondly as a live-action feature by Spike Jonze and screenwriter Dave Eggers.

Though he was perceived as a “children’s author” – a designation he would come to hate – he courted plenty of controversy in his time, not only for his work, but for also the manner in which he freely let loose his honest opinions during interviews.

His 1970 book In the Night Kitchen is famously “frequently challenged and banned” by the American Library Association, on account of its occasional nudity.

He helped develop the Sesame Street television series in its early stages, and also produced a number of animated series, such as Seven Little Monsters, George and Martha, and Little Bear.

Tom Hanks, who co-produced the 2009 Where the Wild Thing Are with Sendak, described him to MTV as a “fabulously cranky old man.”

“[He] delighted in scaring the kids on the block — and they loved him for it. I think a late supper is awaiting him and it is still hot.”


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