Maurice Sendak died today. In the world of literature and vivid imaginations, he shall be missed. When my son was young we regularly read “Where the Wild Things Are”. My son had a vivid imagination and a fabulous sense of humor. This book SO appealed to him. It told him that imagination and pretending were safe and wondrous things to do. I, of course, fondly recalled Sendak’s illustrations from when I was a kid. The wonderful Captain Kangaroo would regularly feature two books with Sendak illustrations: (What Do You Say Dear? and What Do You Do Dear? These two books are hilarious manners lessons).
I think that my favorite parts of Where the Wild Things Are were: “Let the wild rumpus start” and “…but Max stepped into his private boat and waved good-bye; and sailed back over a year and in and out of weeks and through a day and into the night of his very own room where he found his supper waiting for him; and it was still hot”.
You see, he had pitched a fit, been sent to his room. In his snit he journeyed far away. Despite being made a king in the new land, he longed for home. He went back—and all was forgiven. What an immensely reassuring message for the reader and listener. Of course, I see it as analogous. Forgiveness happens when we return. Our suppers are still hot. All we need do is sail back.
I searched around today and found this wonderful anecdote/quote by Sendak. [“Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.” Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it. ]. Godspeed Maurice. Sail on. Let your wild rumpus start.