- At Home
Children's author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, best known for the 1963 classic “Where the Wild Things Are,” died Tuesday in Danbury, Connecticut of complications from a recent stroke. He was 83 years old.
Sendak wrote and illustrated more than 50 children’s books as well as operas, ballets, films and TV programs. His work was notable for its honest portrayal of both the delights and terrors that are part of being young.
""I refuse to lie to children," he once famously told the UK's Guardian.
His books featured menacing monsters, ferocious beasts and children who were often stubborn, lazy or obstinate - a startling departure from sweet and well-behaved characters so typically found in traditional children's literature.
As his obituary in the New York Times phrased it, "He wrenched the picture book out of the safe, sanitized world of the nursery and plunged it into the dark, terrifying and hauntingly beautiful recesses of the human psyche."
Sendak illustrated his first book, "The Wonderful Farm" in 1951. He became internationally known with the 1963 publication of "Where the Wild Things Are," which won the prestigious Caldecott Medal for best children's book. Other popular titles included "In the Night Kitchen" and "Outside Over There."
According to The Times, his companion of 50 years, Eugene Glynn, a psychiatrist who specialized in the treatment of young people, died in 2007, and there were no other immediate family survivors.
And he sailed off through night and day
and in and out of weeks
and almost over a year
to where the wild things are.