Yahoo! News asked readers to reflect on the passing of Maurice Sendak. Here is one fan's appreciation.
If you were going to construct the Mount Rushmore of children's book authors, Maurice Sendak's visage would have to be included alongside Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel and Shel Silverstein.
Waking up the sad news that Sendak had passed on to join Dr. Seuss and Silverstein, it struck me that that he had helped provide an integral link between my life and my children's lives. That's what happens when you create timeless works of art; they resonate across generational lines.
"Where the Wild Things Are" was the first brand new book my wife and I purchased for our first son, about six years ago. We were book shopping; just passing time before a movie if I remember correctly, and we found the paperback edition of Sendak's most beloved work on the shelf. Without a word between us, we picked up the book and brought it home. At one point we were reading it to him every night.
I had loved the story of Max's adventure to the land far away on the other side of the great big sea growing up. The imagery that Sendak created with his illustrations was dark and ominous, but playful at the same time. Those pictures, and the story's ability to teach a simple lesson of humility and appreciation for family and home make an instant impression in everyone who reads it. Seeing my children wrap themselves up in Max's adventure gives a point of relation, a commonality to each other, that parents just can't get enough of.
Sendak's voice will be missed. He was a champion of childhood literacy and his books and stories encouraged kids to enrich their lives with fiction. He'll be long missed, but never forgotten, his work standing as a testament to his talent, creativity and impact on all of us.
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