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Goodbye Maurice Sendak, we’ll miss you.

happy mother's day tribute to maurice sendak by wendy martinA picture book great passed away yesterday morning.

Maurice Sendak was best known for his story “Where the Wild Things Are.” While I enjoyed that story with the rest of the world, my all time favorite book by Mr. Sendak has got to be “In the Night Kitchen.” I remember thumbing through the pages for hours at a neighbor’s house soaking in the many mysteries embedded into the art. I don’t think I ever bothered to read the words.

Years later, when my daughter was born, I came across an old DVD with 4 of Mr. Sendak’s stories in stop motion images being sung by a female vocalist. One of the stories was “In the Night Kitchen.” Hearing the words sung and seeing the images brought the book alive for me all over again.

My daughter is grown now, but that video was picked out of her GoodWill donation box and saved with several other treasures she felt she’d outgrown, but I know I never will.

Sendak’s work was greatly influential in my path to being a children’s book illustrator. His words of wisdom along with his body of work will remain in a place of honor in this house for years to come.

Goodbye, Maurice. Hope the other side is as wild a rumpus as you would like.

I wonder, if Viking Warriors go to Valhalla when they die, do picture book illustrators go to a fully stocked art studio?

This week’s coloring page honors Maurice Sendak. A young boy in his wolf suit stops being a wild thing long enough to give his mom a card and some flowers. Of course, he was just wild enough to pull them from the neighbor’s garden. Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there.

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