Yahoo! News asked readers to reflect on the passing of Maurice Sendak. Here is one fan's appreciation.
Maurice Sendak, the author of several highly acclaimed -- and widely censored -- books, died Tuesday at 83.
"Where the Wild Things Are" and "Chicken Soup with Rice" will forever resonate with former children like me. My copies of Maurice Sendak's books are well-loved; in other words, they are falling apart. Not only did I read the sing-song books growing up, pored over the illustrations, and listened to the Carole King fun renditions on the record "Really Rosie," my four children were pulled into the mesmerizing poetry of Sendak one at a time.
While many will say "Where the Wild Things Are" is one of their favorite books, I say I don't care; my favorite is "Pierre." If you are unfamiliar with this book, check out the YouTube video that combines the classic 1975 animation with the lyrics sung by the Dresdon Dolls.
The same obnoxious, headstrong attitude seen in his characters such as Pierre and Max seems to sum up Sendak's feelings toward his fans. When the movie version of "Where the Wild Things Are" came out in 2009, many people questioned whether the film would be appropriate for children. When told that some parents think the film is too scary, the Guardian says he replied, "Go to hell. That is a question I will not tolerate."
Somehow, I find this endearing. Like the man himself, his books are not P.C., or sanitized. The plots involve strong emotions, anger, defiance, kidnapping, parents disappearing and monsters and lions who are ready to eat you up! Thank you Mr. Sendak for saying "I don't care!" and trusting children enough to not water down your work. You sparked imaginations, sometimes ignited nightmares, but never bored us with mediocrity.