Where the Wild Things Are author Maurice Sendak dies aged 83
Maurice Sendak, the influential and innovative children's author, has died after complications arising from a recent stroke.
Maurice Sendak, one of the most celebrated and influential children's authors of the last century, has died at the age of 83. According to his editor Michael di Capua, Sendak died after complications following a recent stroke, in Danbury, Connecticut. He lived in the nearby town of Ridgefield.
Sendak, who both wrote and illustrated his own stories, was best known for Where the Wild Things Are, which won a Caldecott Medal for Best Children's Book in 1964 and was made into a feature film by director Spike Jonze in 2009.
The story follows Max, a boy who has been causing havoc in his home dressed in a wolf costume. After being sent to bed without any supper, a wild forest grows in his room and Max disappears into this strange world on an adventure. When there he discovers wild beasts and briefly becomes the king of all the wild things. Sendak's illustrations featured huge, hairy monsters - both exciting and frightening - which captured the imaginations of children across the world.
Almost forty years after it was first published, the book remains a favourite for parents and children alike and has sold over 19 million copies worldwide.
Sendak was born in 1928 in Brooklyn and was a largely self-taught illustrator. He worked during High school at All-American Comics filling backgrounds for book versions of comic strips and his first professional illustrations were for a physics textbook in 1947.
He met the Harper & Row children's book editor Ursula Nordstrom in 1948 and the two began a long artistic collaboration.
Sendak's other works include The Sign on Rosie's Door (1960), Higglety Pigglety Pop! (1967), In the Night Kitchen (1970), Outside Over There (1981) and a four-volume set of stories entitled The Nutshell Library (1962).
He also received the Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award. In 1996 he was presented the National Medal of the Arts by President Bill Clinton.