For those unaware, Maurice Sendak passed away last week at the age of 83. The legendary author and illustrator is the creator of Where the Wild Things Are, which touched the lives of generations and generations of children world-wide. If Where the Wild Things Are wasn’t a part of your childhood experience, though, you can bet that Sendak influenced it in other ways. Maurice Sendak was a major player in creating children’s programming on T.V. Before the birth of PBS there was no real children’s programming, much less educational children’s programming. Sendak was a member of National Board of Advisors of the Children’s Television Workshop in its early days and helped the development of what we know as Sesame Street.
“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.”
Sendak has forever changed the hearts of many and the news of his death created waves of sentiment. Hundreds of artists have created tributes to Sendak over the last few weeks, some of which belong to agency Wieden and Kennedy in Portland.
To see more, check out Wieden and Kennedy’s Tumblr here!