This past Friday, I spent the afternoon at Crockett Johnson’s house – 74 Rowayton Avenue (Rowayton, Connecticut), where he and Ruth Krauss lived from 1945 to 1973. Though I wrote their biography and had seen (and photographed) the house from the outside, I’d never been inside. I’ve seen all of their homes from the outside,
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
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
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
It looks like the collected works of Maurice Sendak have exploded all over my office… because I’ve just finished a draft of an article on Sendak – one of many pieces I agreed to write this summer (and one reason why this blog has been so quiet lately). He was one of our most articulate
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
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.
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
Fitting that the passing of an artist should inspire so much art. Here are a few tributes to Maurice Sendak that I’ve enjoyed. (I’ve assembled links to prose tributes at the bottom of my reminiscence of Maurice; The Comics Journal has its own page of mostly prose tributes, too.) Pat Bagley This is easily my favorite,