My heart is saddened.
I never knew this man. In fact, I had no idea what he even looked like until I read the newspaper article.
Nonetheless, he had a profound impact on my life. I remember sitting on my bed while my mother read "Where the Wild Things Are" to me and my brother. I was mesmerized by this wild little boy who ran away from home to live among the wild things. It sounded like heaven. He broke all the rules and even became a King. At the end of the day, his mother still welcomed him home with loving arms.
As a child sitting near my mother, I couldn't appreciate or even understand the depths of this iconic story's meaning. I was simply fascinated with the idea of a child running away for the Wild Rumpus.
Naturally as I began building my own kid's library, I included this one. I was a mom to two rowdy little boys who each made their own kind of mischief on a daily basis. But yet, when they sat on their beds next to me (just like I had with my own brother) they were quieted. They became mesmerized by Max and his mischief; listening intently as the story unfolded.
Like her brothers before her, Cheeks claimed this as an early favorite. It was ALWAYS included in one of the 3 bedtime stories. I would often find her playing Wild Thing in her bedroom, pretending to tame her toys with the magic trick of not blinking during a staring contest.
So thank you Mr. Sendak. Thank you for writing a beautifully, simple story about the importance of family, expressing our feelings and coming home. You were a creative force behind many children's imaginations and many more to come. Your legacy will be long remembered and you will be certainly missed.