Maurice Sendak passed away today, you might remember him from his book, that he illustrated and wrote, Where the Wild Things Are (WTWTA ). Since I never met the author, my only connection to him is through this piece, and I should preface this tribute by saying this is merely my way of saying thank you to him for creating one of my favorite childhood books that impacted my early years as a young artist and as a boy.
WTWTA was one of the few books I truly felt connected to and envisioned myself in. It was way more than just entertainment it was also magical and the book although simply written it was filled to the brim with meaning and carefully crafted messages. WTWTA was one of the few books I read growing up that gave me a feeling about not being afraid to dream, that the grass may look greener from the other side but it might not be, and that sometimes its OK to dream as long we remember to wake up from those dreams.
My Favorite part of the book was the concept of using the setting of the boy’s room as a transformational entrance into the wild world beyond. That part in particular fueled my imagination as a young artist and inspired me to draw and doodle as a kid, and in a world where everyone has an idea of what you should or should not be doing at any given point in your life, it felt liberating. It was also a shared experience, as my entire class was given a copy of that book at one point and I remember how much it impacted my classmates at a young age. I wonder how much it impacted my entire generation, I wonder if it is still read in schools. I really hope it is, and I have to say thank you to Maurice for impacting my life and soon I look forward to sharing WTWTA work with my son.