Author of Where the Wild Things Are Dies at 83
Maurice Sendak, who is widely thought of as one of the most important children’s book artist of the 20th century, died on Tuesday in Danbury, Conn. He was 83.
Among the other titles he wrote and illustrated are “In the Night Kitchen” (1970) and“Outside Over There” (1981), which together with “Where the Wild Things Are” form a trilogy; “The Sign on Rosie’s Door” (1960); “Higglety Pigglety Pop!” (1967); and “The Nutshell Library” (1962), a boxed set of four tiny volumes comprising “Alligators All Around,” “Chicken Soup With Rice,” “One Was Johnny” and “Pierre.”
He cherished the letters that individual children sent him unbidden... “Dear Mr. Sendak,” read one, from an 8-year-old boy. “How much does it cost to get to where the wild things are? If it is not expensive, my sister and I would like to spend the summer there.”
The cause was complications of a recent stroke. He was known in particular for more than a dozen picture books he wrote and illustrated himself, most famously “Where the Wild Things Are." It was published by Harper & Row in 1963.
In September, a new picture book by Mr. Sendak, “Bumble-Ardy” — the first in 30 years for which he produced both text and illustrations — was published.
A picture book, “My Brother’s Book” — a poem written and illustrated by Mr. Sendak and inspired by his love for his late brother, Jack — is scheduled to be published next February.
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.”