I cannot remember the first time I read Maurice Sendak’s work. The truth of the matter is that I didn’t read it myself, it was read to me. So long has his presence existed in my life that it that my memory cannot pin it down.
My knowledge of the man has not been great. It didn’t need to be. I lived through his words and art as a child, as an adult and finally as a teacher.
In 2010 I taught in Japan at an English preschool and the first book I read to them was a battered copy of ‘Where the Wild Things Are’. I had slipped into my suitcase last minute before leaving Australia and that instinctive action made for wonderful classroom experiences with a bunch of three year olds that I will never forget.
We gnashed our terrible teeth at every opportunity.
Despite the language barrier (theirs and mine), we bonded over that book. Max is universal.
It was with sadness last night that I learned of his death. In the past year I feel that I got a sense of the man better with his appearance on Colbert - his curmudgeonly ways were endearing and so in tune with the edges that his collected work presented to the world.
“I cry a lot because I miss people. They die and I can’t stop them. They leave me and I love them more.”
― Maurice Sendak
We will continue to love you more.
TAGS: Maurice Sendak