From New York Times
Maurice Sendak, widely considered the most important children’s book artist of the 20th century, who 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, died on Tuesday. He was 83.
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.
While he was the author and/or illustrator of more than 50 books, Sendak was best known for his 1963 classic, “Where the Wild Things Are,” which chronicles the adventures of Max as he makes his way through — and ultimately comes to rule — an imaginary kingdom of Wild Things.
In 1964, the American Library Association awarded Mr. Sendak the Caldecott Medal, considered the Pulitzer Prize of children’s book illustration, for “Where the Wild Things Are.” In simple, incantatory language, the book told the story of Max, a naughty boy who rages at his mother and is sent to his room without supper.
“You cannot write for children. They’re much too complicated. You can only write books that are of interest to them.” Maurice Sendak
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