Max is sent to bed without supper and imagines sailing away to the land of Wild Things,where he is made king.Award for Illustration; the 1983 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, given by the American Library Association in recognition of his entire body of work; and a 1996 National Medal of Arts in recognition of his contribution to the arts in America. In 2003, he received the first Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, an international prize for childrens literature established by the Swedish government.
In addition to Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendaks books include Kennys Window, Very Far Away, The Sign on Rosies Door, Nutshell Library (consisting of Chicken Soup with Rice, Alligators All Around, One Was Johnny, and Pierre), Higglety Pigglety Pop! or There Must Be More to Life, In the Night Kitchen, Outside Over There, We Are All in the Dumps with Jack and Guy, and Bumble-Ardy.
He received the 1964 Caldecott Medal for Where the Wild Things Are; the 1970 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration; the 1983 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, given by the American Library Association in recognition of his entire body of work; and a 1996 National Medal of Arts in recognition of his contribution to the arts in America. In 2003, he received the first Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, an international prize for childrens literature established by the Swedish government.
I never wrote a book where I taught a lesson, Maurice Sendak once bragged in an interview. Fans of his lyrical, lushly illustrated picture books know Sendak has a far more important mission. Rather than instructing his young readers in proper manners, the man whos been called the Picasso of childrens books has been a vital, expressive voice for childrens feelings. Sendak first honed his art as an illustrator for writers like Ruth Krauss and Else Holmelund Minarek. He explored different styles of drawing and painting, influenced by sources as diverse as William Blake, Randolph Caldecott and Walt Disney. In the 50s and early 60s, Sendak began to write his own books, and to forge his own distinctive visual style. The most popular of the works produced in what he later called his apprenticeship period was The Nutshell Library, a collection of four tiny books (2 1/2 by 4 inches wide) that was instantly and enduringly popular. His first mature work, Where the Wild Things Are (1963), was a watershed both in Sendaks career and the history of childrens literature. It tells the story of a boy named Max, whose mother sends him to his room without supper, calling him a wild thing. Max makes an imaginary journey to a land of monsters, where hes crowned King of All Wild Things. But his longing for comfort and security return him at last to his room, where he finds his supper waiting for him. Some adults were dismayed by the books ferocious-looking monsters and its belligerent young hero. It is not a book to be left where a sensitive child may come upon it at twilight, one librarian cautioned. Despite the warnings, Where the Wild Things Are was a huge commercial success, and was awarded the prestigious Caldecott Medal in 1964. In his acceptance speech, Sendak seemed to address his critics when he said that despite adults desires to protect children from painful experiences, the fact is that from their earliest years children live on familiar terms with disrupting emotions, that fear and anxiety are an intrinsic part of their everyday lives, that they continually cope with frustration as best they can. And it is through fantasy that children achieve catharsis. It is the best means they have for taming Wild Things. In the following years, Sendak illustrated dozens of books, and wrote and illustrated several more of his own, including In the Night Kitchen (1970) and Outside Over There (1981), which he considered to be the second and third parts of a trilogy that began with Where the Wild Things Are. A lover of theatre, he has also designed and produced numerous operas, plays and ballets. Though his work has sometimes been controversial, Sendak is now renowned for his ability to recall, depict and transform the painful realities of childhood into what John Gardner, reviewing one of Sendaks books, called not an ordinary childrens book done extraordinarily well, but something different in kind from an ordinary childrens book: a profound work of art for children.
Good To Know
In 1948, Maurice Sendak and his brother Jack took six model toys to the toy store F.A.O. Schwarz, which they hoped would commission a set. The store turned down the toys, but offered Maurice a job as a window display designer, which he took. Sendak wrote Higglety Pigglety Pop! Or, There Must Be More to Life, in tribute to his beloved dog. The books protagonist, like Sendaks pet, is a Sealyham terrier named Jennie. Years later, Sendak got a German shepherd, who already had a name when he adopted it. The dog was named Max, just like Sendaks most famous character.