Brooklyn, NY, US
Illustrator and writer Maurice Sendak was born in Brooklyn, New York, on June 10, 1928. As a boy, Sendak and his older brother used to write stories. They then illustrated them and bound them into little books.
Sendak went to art school for a short time. But he mainly learned about his profession on his own. As a teen he spent many hours sketching neighborhood children as they played. These children were represented in A Hole Is to Dig (1952), a book by Ruth Kraus that brought Sendak his first fame.
Sendak's ability to remember the sounds and feelings of particular childhood moments were demonstrated in his best-known work, Where the Wild Things Are (1963). He won the 1964 Caldecott Medal for this book. He later wrote and illustrated two companion books: In the Night Kitchen (1970) and Outside Over There (1981). The latter received a 1982 American Book Award. Sendak has said the three works are about "how children manage to get through childhood...how they defeat boredom, worries and fear, and find joy."
Sendak illustrated some ninety children's books. In 1970, he won the international Hans Christian Andersen Medal for the body of his illustrated work. He was the first American to receive this highest honor in children's book publishing. In 1983, Sendak won the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, given by the American Library Association for an entire body of work. In 1996, U.S. president Bill Clinton presented Sendak with the National Medal of Arts. Later in his carrer, the artist designed sets and costumes for the ballet and for a number of grand operas in the United States and England.
In 2003 Sendak received the first Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the Swedish government’s international prize for children’s literature. “Maurice Sendak captured childhood in brilliant stories and drawings that will live forever,” said Richard Robinson, chairman, president and CEO, Scholastic Inc, in a statement.
Maurice Sendak died on May 8, 2012. He was 83.
With the passing of Maurice Sendak, we are all reminded of the magical and sometimes terrifying worlds that he created for us. His characters will live on forever, allowing future generations to take a wild rumpus with him. Why are we so confident in his legacy? On YouAreWhatYouRead.com, thousands have shared their Bookprints — the five books that have left an indelible mark on their lives. We’ve noticed there are certain authors like Mr. Sendak who are chosen again and again as influencers. Hundreds of readers, including well-known personalities and authors like Harry Bliss, Brian Selznick, Ben Foster, Stacy Keibler, Logan Miller, Shay Mitchell, and Mark Teixeira, included his books in their Bookprints. Where the Wild Things Are is so popular it is one of the top 35 most-listed books on the site!Did he inspire you? Share your Bookprint on YouAreWhatYouRead.com where you can also view his five books.