Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Remembering Maurice Sendak

Maurice Sendak 1985 - AP File Photo

Maurice Sendak 1928-2012

     I was listening to NPR this morning and heard the news that Maurice Sendak passed away today. I can remember "Where The Wild Things Are" from my childhood, and the monsters within intrigued me then, as they do today. I didn't know Mr. Sendak personally, but I know a part of the message he seemed to portray. Childhood is rough. I try to remember that as I see my 'Lil Miss in her first year of public school. I watch her navigate a room of 25+ kids, make and maintain friendships, etc. Maurice's book themes touch a nerve in the childhood I remembered.
In a conversation with Terry Gross of Fresh Air on NPR, 2003, Maurice  said:
"Do parents sit down and tell their kids everything? I don't know. I don't know. I've convinced myself — I hope I'm right — that children despair of you if you don't tell them the truth."
     As I try my hand at writing and illustrating my own stories, I try to keep in mind that not all stories for children in real life end up with the prince kissing the princess as they ride off into the sunset. My daughter currently thinks that, as she has experienced nothing contrary. My parents divorce at 10 years old taught me otherwise. I think it's important to know that children see a lot, and while they are honest and forthcoming at times, they can also bottle up much of what they experience.
     I enjoyed an interview with Maurice Sendak (below) on the Colbert Report. I giggled when he referred to Stephen Colbert an "idiot". I think I can be an idiot and embrace that as I work out my own stories I try to write and illustrate. There is also a documentary produced by Adam Yauch (recently deceased Beastie Boy) here.
     Stay young, stay real.


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