Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Maurice Sendak

Maurice Bernard Sendak was born this day in 1928. Dartmouth College Librarian Patti Houghton, a Weathersfield native, curated an exhibit at Dartmouth's Baker Library entitled "Facing the North Wind: The Morton E. Wise Collection of Maurice Sendak" (http://library.dartmouth.edu/news/?t=1&type=41). That exhibit is running now through the end of the month. Patti shared with me an interesting bit of information about Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, a book most of us are familiar with. One of Sendak's boyhood memories involved visiting relatives on holidays and family celebrations. In greeting, his aunts would pinch his cheeks and exclaim, "I love you so, I'll eat you up!" (Sound familiar?) If you look at his illustrations of the wild things, you might notice a resemblance to aunts and uncles. This information has made the book less scary and more fun for me!

Sendak's In the Night Kitchen has been a regular on the American Library Association's list of frequently challenged and banned books. I've heard all of the interpretations--sexual and non sexual--and I think people are reading too much into it. Enjoy the book for what it is.

In addition to those two Sendak books, we also have:
Alligators All Around
Chicken Soup with Rice
Higglety Pigglety Pop! : or, there must be more to life
Mommy? ( pop-up book)
Outside Over There
Pierre : a cautionary tale in five chapters and a prologue
The Sign on Rosie's Door
We Are All in the Dumps with Jack and Guy
We also have books illustrated by Sendak as well, like, my favorite, the Little Bear Series by Else Holmelund Minarik.

Read a biography of Sendak on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurice_Sendak and find out all of the awards and accomplishments of this best selling children's author.