The great children’s book author Maurice Sendak has passed away. He was 83. I always liked the way he used black edges around figures in many of his drawings. His most famous work, ‘Where the Wild Things Are,’ was always my least favorite. I never liked those particular drawings. They seem confused and fuzzy. I always took the most inspiration from his more controversial book, ‘In the Night Kitchen.’ Its drawings seemed to me to have a calm effortless quality. In fact, when I began this site years ago I often referred to Sendak’s work for simple pointers on illustration. His ‘Nutshell Library’ is the one that goes back the farthest into my own childhood memories. Its incredible simplicity and perfect match of words to pictures make it one of the great all time children’s collections.
Children’s books will suffer for the absence of Mr. Sendak and his incredible genius.
Here’s a relatively recent video with Sendak talking about his work and his admiration for poet William Blake.