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June 10, 2013

Google Doodles Maurice Sendak

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Henry Greeff @ 10:58 am

Google celebrates Maurice Sendak's 85th birthday.

Google celebrates Maurice Sendak’s 85th birthday.

By Forrest Wickman

For what would have been his 85th birthday on Monday, Google has drawn up a wonderfully imagined Google Doodle as a tribute to the beloved illustrator and children’s book author Maurice Sendak. As io9 points out, the Doodle has already appeared in New Zealand.

It begins, of course, with Max sailing to the land of Where the Wild Things Are, but soon also ventures to the surreal cityscape of In the Night Kitchen and ends, appropriately, with the birthday party from Sendak’s 2011 book Bumble-Ardy.

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May 8, 2012

Maurice Sendak, Author of Splendid Nightmares, Dies at 83

Joyce Dopkeen/The New York Times
Maurice Sendak at his Ridgefield, Conn., home with his German Shepherd, Herman, in 2006

  By MARGALIT FOX

Maurice Sendak, widely considered the most important children’s book artist of the 20th century, who wrenched the picture book out of the safe, sanitized world of the nursery and plunged it into the dark, terrifying and hauntingly beautiful recesses of the human psyche, died on Tuesday in Danbury, Conn. He was 83 and lived in Ridgefield, Conn.

The cause was complications from a recent stroke, said Michael di Capua, his longtime editor.

Roundly praised, intermittently censored and occasionally eaten, Mr. Sendak’s books were essential ingredients of childhood for the generation born after 1960 or thereabouts, and in turn for their children. He was known in particular for more than a dozen picture books he wrote and illustrated himself, most famously “Where the Wild Things Are,” which was simultaneously genre-breaking and career-making when it was published by Harper & Row in 1963.

Among the other titles he wrote and illustrated, all from Harper & Row, are “In the Night Kitchen” (1970) and “Outside Over There” (1981), which together with “Where the Wild Things Are” form a trilogy; “The Sign on Rosie’s Door” (1960); “Higglety Pigglety Pop!” (1967); and “The Nutshell Library” (1962), a boxed set of four tiny volumes comprising “Alligators All Around,” “Chicken Soup With Rice,” “One Was Johnny” and “Pierre.”

In September, a new picture book by Mr. Sendak, “Bumble-Ardy” — the first in 30 years for which he produced both text and illustrations — was issued by HarperCollins Publishers. The book, which spent five weeks on the New York Times children’s best-seller list, tells the not-altogether-lighthearted story of an orphaned pig (his parents are eaten) who gives himself a riotous birthday party.

A posthumous picture book, “My Brother’s Book” — a poem written and illustrated by Mr. Sendak and inspired by his love for his late brother, Jack — is scheduled to be published next February.

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September 21, 2011

This Pig Wants To Party: Maurice Sendak’s Latest

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Bumble-ardy, the latest from author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, is dark and deeply imaginative, much like his classic works Where the Wild Things Are and In The Night Kitchen.

Bumble-ardy is an orphaned pig, who has reached the age of 9 without ever having a birthday party. He tells his Aunt Adeline that he would like to have a party for his ninth birthday, so Aunt Adeline plans a quiet birthday dinner for two. But Bumble-ardy instead decides to throw a large costume party for himself after his aunt leaves for work — and mayhem ensues.

When his aunt returns she says, “Okay smarty, you’ve had your party but never again.” Bumble-ardy replies, “I promise, I swear, I won’t ever turn 10.”

Sendak tells Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross that those two lines — his favorite in the book — sum up his life and his work.

“Those two lines are essential. ‘I’ll never be 10′ touches me deeply but I won’t pretend that I know exactly what it means,” says Sendak. “When I thought of it, I was so happy I thought of it. It came to me, which is what the creative act is all about. Things come to you without you necessarily knowing what they mean. … It comes at a time when I am getting ripe, getting old — and I want to do work that resonates.”

Sendak says that he worked on Bumble-ardy while taking care of his longtime partner, Eugene Glynn, who died of lung cancer in 2007.

“When I did Bumble-ardy, I was so intensely aware of death,” he says. “Eugene, my friend and partner, was dying here in the house when I did Bumble-ardy. I did Bumble-ardy to save myself. I did not want to die with him. I wanted to live as any human being does. But there’s no question that the book was affected by what was going on here in the house. … Bumble-ardy was a combination of the deepest pain and the wondrous feeling of coming into my own. And it took a long time. It took a very long time.”

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July 29, 2011

V.F. Portrait: Maurice Sendak

Filed under: Authors — Tags: , , , , , — Henry Greeff @ 5:28 am


The most celebrated living creator of picture books, Maurice Sendak has resurfaced, at 83, with Bumble-Ardy. He says he’s demented, but Dave Eggers finds that Sendak’s uncompromising vision still makes perfect sense.

READY TO RUMPUS Maurice Sendak and his German shepherd Herman, named after Melville, photographed at Sendak’s house in Ridgefield, Connecticut.

By Dave Eggers•

Photograph by Annie Leibovitz

Bumble-Ardy is the first book Maurice Sendak has both written and illustrated in 30 years. I called him the other day to talk about it, and we were both surprised it had been that long. “Jesus,” he said. “What have I been doing?” We went through a list. He designed operas here and abroad, illustrated dozens of books—by Tony Kushner and Herman Melville and Shakespeare, among many others—and had a best-seller just a few years ago, in Mommy?, a pop-up book about a boy looking for his mother in a haunted mansion.

But in terms of a book completely his own, Bumble-Ardy is the first since 1981’s Outside Over There. Not that he wants to make a big deal out of it. “People from New York have been calling, to see if I’m still alive. When I answer the phone, you can hear the disappointment in their voice.”

Sendak’s sense of humor is pitch-black and ribald, though this fact, and the baroque essence of his work, is often lost on readers now that his books have become canonical. “A woman came up to me the other day and said, ‘You’re the kiddie-book man!’ I wanted to kill her.” He hates to be thought of as safe or his work as classic, and he won’t tolerate overpraise. “My work is not great, but it’s respectable. I have no false illusions.”

He’s wrong, of course.

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April 12, 2011

Sendak’s Back, With A Pig Tale

Filed under: Books — Tags: , , , — Henry Greeff @ 3:57 pm

By KATHERINE ROSMAN

At 82, children’s-book author Maurice Sendak has created a new wild thing—a pig who longs to party.

HarperCollins is set to announce that it will publish in the fall “Bumble-Ardy,” the story of a pig who has his first-ever birthday party when he turns 9. It will have a print run of 500,000 copies. Mr. Sendak first began to develop the character in 1971 in an animated short produced for “Sesame Street,” by Jim Henson.

Mr. Sendak, speaking by phone from his home in Connecticut, said he had been unable to forget Bumble-Ardy. “He was funny. He was robust. He was sly. He was a sneak. He was all the things I like,” Mr. Sendak said.

Mr. Sendak has provided the illustration, story or both for more than 100 titles, including “Where the Wild Things Are,” in 1963, which has sold more than 10 million copies. “Bumble-Arby” is the first book he has both illustrated and written in nearly 30 years.

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