Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The World Loses Maurice Sendak

The day greeted us with the sad news that Maurice Sendak has passed away.  Most of us will remember Sendak for the childhood favorite – Where the Wild Things Are.  But at 83 years old, Sendak had accomplished so much more in the art and literary worlds.  He has authored and illustrated more than a dozen books and has illustrated more than seventy stories written by other authors.  Not only was Sandak an illustrator and author, but he also worked on ballets and operas.  His death is a true loss to the world; but he was a man who lived a long and interesting life.
My four year old son has adored Where the Wild Things Are for over a year and even has it memorized.  Books such as Sendak’s introduce toddlers to the wonders of words and stories.  These early books open a new world to children, inspiring their imaginations to grow.  Can you remember that first book that you loved as a kid?  I remember Dr. Seuss’s Left Foot, Right Foot being the first book I could read, but the first book that I loved was Miss Nelson is Missing.  I must have checked it out of the school library at least fifty times, and that’s no exaggeration.  I guess it was my introduction to the Mystery genre, which remains a favorite.
To this day I still love reading books like Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, The Giving Tree, and Tiki Tiki Tembo.  Whether it reminds you where you came from, or brings back memories long forgotten, there’s something really special about reading a children’s book. 
Leave a comment about your favorite children’s book or how early reading impacted your life. 
And in Sendak’s honor, go out there and encourage mischief of one kind, or another...

9 comments:

  1. My favorite book was The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss. I read it at least a million times, and now I read it to my kids! :)

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    1. Mine too! But you never hear about it as one of Dr Seuss' classics - I thought it must have been swept under the rug for being un-American or something...

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    2. I heard an old interview on NPR yesterday morning with Sendak. He was saying his inspiration for his books was to help children going through hard childhoods like he did. He used it as an outlet to overcome the monsters in his childhood. Interesting, the different sources of art.
      -Joy

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    3. India, you are right! I remember reading an article about The Butter Battle Book being compared to actual events of the time. The wall between the Zooks and the Yooks was likened to the Berlin Wall! The National Review even requested the controversial bread buttering story to be banned from libraries! Stating that the Zooks and Yooks were too similar to the US and Russia relations (the race for creating the best weapon) and that for Seuss to suggest that we'd go to war for something so silly (like buttering the wrong side of bread), was completely un-American! I think it makes the book that much more interesting!

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  2. My kids love Where the Wild Things Are and simple ones like Green Eggs & Ham. My favorites was Alexanders Terrible, Horrible...and I was a huge Judy Bloom fan as I entered middle school. I find my girls don't enjoy Shel Silverstein as much as I did but it's starting to grow on Maddie (perhaps a little too serious?).

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    1. Ah! Judy Blume books are AWESOME!
      My favorite Shel Silverstein poem is the one with Ickle Me, Pickle Me, and Tickle Me (too), a very close second would have to be the one about the unicorn and why it's no longer around...

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  3. Tikki Tikki Tembo No Sarimbo Hari Kari Bushkie Perry Pem Do Hai Kai Pom Pom Nikki No Meeno Dom Barako!!! Was my absolute favorite and yes I had to google that because I couldn't remember the full name of Tikki Tikki Tembo. I am not sure as to why I liked it so much, I think because the name was so crazy and it's written like 50 times in the book...which now as an adult is kinda annoying when you are reading it to a child and easily run out of breath.

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  4. LOL...Bam, you must have looked up another version, maybe the original Japanese tale, in the American version, it's just Tikki Tikki Tembo-no Sa Rembo-chari Bari Ruchi-pip Peri Pembo! But you are right, it's quite the mouthful :)

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    1. I was quoting the legit version!

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