Wild Things, I Think I Love You: Maurice Sendak, Ruth Krauss, and Childhood

Like his mentor Ruth Krauss’s fictive children, Maurice Sendak’s are emotionally liberated people. That’s one of the points I make in my brief (5-page!) essay “Wild Things, I Think I Love You: Maurice Sendak, Ruth Krauss, and Childhood,” which appeared in PMLA 129.1 (January 2014).  In a belated recognition of the second anniversary of Maurice Sendak’s passing…

It’s a Wild World: Maurice Sendak, Wild Things, and Childhood

My fellow Niblings (Betsy Bird, Julie Walker Danielson, Travis Jonker) and I decided a few months ago that it’d be fun to coordinate some blog posts today in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Where the Wild Things Are. It’s 50 years old, having been originally released in Fall 1963. After some research, we figured out that its release…

“If I like what I’m doing, the kids will like it, too”: Marc Simont (1915-2013)

When his roommate, Robert McCloskey, wanted to study ducklings for his next book, Marc Simont let him adopt a whole group of them. McCloskey followed them around their small Greenwich Village apartment, sketching each one from all angles — work that would help make his Caldecott-winning Make Way for Ducklings (1941) a classic.  Simont would…

One year later: Maurice Sendak (June 10, 1928 – May 8, 2012)

On the first anniversary of Maurice Sendak’s passing, I’ve gathered here some posts for those who want to consider what he has meant and continues to mean — as an artist, a writer, and (for those who knew him) a friend.  It’s strange to think that it’s been a full year since he passed away….

Annotating My Brother’s Book: Some initial thoughts on Sendak’s use of Blake’s pictorial language. A guest post by Mark Crosby

In his foreword to My Brother’s Book (2012), Stephen Greenblatt suggests that Shakespeare is the major influence on Maurice Sendak’s final competed work.  But Blake loomed much larger in Sendak’s visual imagination.  He collected rare Blake manuscripts, drawings, watercolors, illuminated books, and prints, read biographies of Blake, and studied his art and poetry.  In this…

Maurice Sendak, Uncensored

Comics people will already know what is being billed as (and probably is) Maurice Sendak’s Final Interview.  (It was conducted in 2011, and he died last May.)  So, I’m writing this for all the children’s literature people out there: here’s why you might want to read this interview, which appears in the latest issue (no….

Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss: a mix

Here is a mix to celebrate the publication of my new biography, Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss: How an Unlikely Couple Found Love, Dodged the FBI, and Transformed Children’s Literature (2012).  Its official publication date is today (Sept. 1st), though it’s actually been available for a few weeks now. Given my own interest in music, it’s curious…

The Most Wild Thing of All: Maurice Sendak, 1928-2012

But the wild things cried, “Oh, please don’t go— We’ll eat you up—we love you so!” And Max said, “No!” —Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are (1963) In June 2001, I went to hear Maurice Sendak speak at Yale University. A couple of years earlier, I’d started working on a biography of Crockett Johnson,…