So sad to hear that Maurice Sendak passed away. Seems like we keep losing creative individuals. Death is a part of life though, so we can only honor those who touched and inspired us in our time in this world. The New York Times has a nice piece on Maurice, his life, and his work, here’s an excerpt illustrating why he was so great.
In book after book, Mr. Sendak upended the staid, centuries-old tradition of American children’s literature, in which young heroes and heroines were typically well scrubbed and even better behaved; nothing really bad ever happened for very long; and everything was tied up at the end in a neat, moralistic bow.
Mr. Sendak’s characters, by contrast, are headstrong, bossy, even obnoxious. (In “Pierre,” “I don’t care!” is the response of the small eponymous hero to absolutely everything.) His pictures are often unsettling. His plots are fraught with rupture: children are kidnapped, parents disappear, a dog lights out from her comfortable home.