Sendak was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Polish-Jewish
immigrant parents, and decided to become an illustrator
after viewing Walt Disney's film Fantasia
at the age of twelve. His illustrations were
first published in 1947 in a textbook titled
Atomics for the Millions by Dr. Maxwell Leigh Eidinoff.
He spent much of the 1950s working as an artist for
children's books, before beginning to write his own stories.
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
is a children's picture book originally
published by Harper & Row.
The book tells the story of Max, who one evening
plays around his home, "making mischief" in a
wolf costume by chasing the dog with a fork and
growling at his mom. As punishment,
his mother sends him to bed without supper.
In his room, a mysterious, wild forest grows out
of his imagination, and Max journeys to the
land of the Wild Things. The Wild Things are
fearsome-looking monsters, but Max conquers them
"by staring into their yellow eyes without blinking once,"
and he is made "the King of all Wild Things."
However, he soon finds himself lonely and homesick,
and he returns home to his bedroom,
where he finds his supper waiting for him, still hot.
-Caldecott Medal for Where the Wild Things Are (1964)
-Hans Christian Andersen Award
for children's book illustration (1970)
-American Book Award (1982)
-Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal (1983)
-Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (2003)
A feature film version of Where the Wild Things Are
is slated for release on October 16, 2009,
using effects and puppets from
Jim Henson's Creature Shop.
See more about this movie on my Movie Blog!