This author was by far one of the most influential factors in what I read to my children and what authors we studied in my classroom over the years. I found out, via a text from my partner at TWA, that Maurice Sendak had passed and I have to admit, I was crushed. Couldn't even greet the students who were returning from lunch, my co-teacher did it alone. Coincidentally, I had two of his books propped right behind my desk. Since I moved from the elementary school to the intermediate school, I have scaled way back. Only a handful of titles has traveled with me, as I've been primarily working with the older students.
Every group of students that I taught over the years was exposed to Maurice Sendak via an author study. His books could swing high or low; he was so prolific. I hear he was not a "nice" man. I will attest that he is the only author that never, ever wrote back to any of the students who wrote to him over the years. You might find it odd that I'm writing about an author who did not believe in the eBook in any way, shape or form, but I admire him for being true to his convictions. None of his titles EVER saw the screen of a digital device, he simply abhorred the concept.
In these LOL video clips, Maurice was interviewed by Stephen Colbert - "....the 83-year-old Brooklyn native held nothing back when answering Colbert’s typically unusual line of questioning. Sendak openly complained about 'Where the Wild Things Are' getting too much attention and flipped a shit over the notion of e-books taking over."
The personal favorite in our house was In the Night Kitchen; all three of my children adored it. "Milk, Milk, Milk in the Batter!" I must have read that book a thousand times. As a parent, you never know what your own children will take with them into adolescence and adulthood. My oldest called me after seeing the movie of "Where the Wild Things Are" and encouraged me to see it. He also confided that it was the first movie ever that made him cry. All over the media, is the news that this legend has passed away, a little bit of me has died with him and much of his influence will live on... Maurice, this is a tribute to you, an individual, a curmudgeon, yes. Still, I respect that you never succumbed to the digital.
"Maurice Sendak has died. I cannot put into words what I am feeling, what he and his work meant to me."—Author Judy Blume, via Twitter