“Where the Wild Things Are” author Maurice Sendak is …

Maurice Sendak, 'Where The Wild Things Are' Author …

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, …

Maurice Bernard Sendak was born on June 10, 1928, in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York to Polish-Jewish immigrant parents, Philip and Sarah. Due to his health condition as a child, Sendak was forced to stay indoors and spent a lot of time reading and drawing while inside, which fostered his love of art and creativity. Upon graduating high school, he continued to pursue his love by illustrating for the textbook, Atomics for the Millions. In 1948, wanting to do more than illustrate for other authors, Sendak and his brother created model toys and brought them to the F.A.O. Schwartz toy store in New York for approval. Despite turning the toys down, F.A.O. Schwartz offered Sendak a job as a window display designer. While working at F.A.O. Schwartz, Sendak began taking night classes at the Art Students League in New York and did so for four years. Soon after, he met Ursula Nordstrom, an editor at Harper and Brothers, who gave him his first children’s book illustration job.

Where the Wild Things Are is fifty years old

Maurice Sendak was best known for his children’s books, Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen, and Outside Over There. He also applied his unique style of art in the production and design of famous operas, plays, and ballets. Although born in New York in 1928, Sendak was connected to Philadelphia via the gallery named for him at The Rosenbach Museum and Library that displays 2,000 of his works. He also won the Free Library of Philadelphia/Drexel University Children’s Literature Citation in 1989. On May 8, 2012, Sendak died at age 83 days after suffering a stroke.

Sendak also took his success and creativity to different avenues of art. In 1979, Where the Wild Things Are, was transformed from a book to an opera. In 1984, Sendak wrote his own version of the ballet, The Nutcracker, which emphasized the struggles girls go through with hormonal changes as they mature. He also produced operas such as Mozart’s, The Magic Flute, designed sets and costumes, produced television shows such as, Little Bear, and even wrote screenplays. In 1989, he won the Free Library of Philadelphia/Drexel University Children’s Literature Citation, which “is awarded to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to literature for children and who is from Philadelphia, or has contributed significantly to the advancement of this field in the Philadelphia area.”