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...