Maurice Sendak has been called the Picasso of children’s literature, and godfather to generations of readers. The writer and illustrator of more than a dozen picture books, Sendak is probably best known for Where the Wild Things Are, which The New York Times called “simultaneously genre-breaking and career-making” when it was published by Harper & Row in 1963.
Among Sendak’s other titles: In the Night Kitchen (1970), Outside Over There (1981), The Sign on Rosie’s Door (1960), Higglety Pigglety Pop! (1967); The Nutshell Library (1962), and a boxed set of four tiny volumes including “Alligators All Around,” “Chicken Soup With Rice,” “One Was Johnny” and “Pierre.”
In a 2004 interview with Bill Moyers, Sendak revealed some of the early childhood memories and surprisingly dark influences behind his work, including the tragedy of the Holocaust.
Sendak received the Hans Christian Andersen Medal, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, the National Medal of Arts, and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for his work. He died on May 8, 2012 at the age of 83.