It seems I decided by around age five that I wanted to be Maurice Sendak when I grew up. I penciled my name in right next to his on this book that he illustrated for Ruth Krauss in 1952, which is one of my most treasured possessions and has been with me always. Over the years I've become an obsessive collector of his work and words, which have taught me just about everything I need to know about writing and illustrating for children. I can think of no more to add to all that's been said about Sendak, or by Sendak, who died on May 8th at the age of 83.
"Hello, As you probably noticed, I went away forever. I am very experienced now and very famous. I am even a star.... I get plenty to drink, too, so don't worry.... If you ever come this way, look for me. Jennie" *
Dear Jennie, I did notice. And I will certainly look for you. Love, Debbie.
Some Wonderful Interviews:
- Fresh Air Remembers Author Maurice Sendak, interviews with Terry Gross, including the last one in September 2011.
- Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Maurice Sendak, a documentary by Spike Jonze and Lance Bangs. Excerpted here.
- Art Spiegelman Discusses Maurice Sendak, with a comic strip collaboration between Spiegelman and Sendak.
*As shared by Lynn Caponera, Sendak's assistant and longtime friend, who perfectly closed a memorial service for him at the Metropolitan Museum of Art last week by quoting this letter and sharing this image of his beloved dog, Jennie, "from his favorite book", Higglety Pigglety Pop! Or There Must Be More to Life.