I won’t pretend that I followed the life of Mr. Sendak meticulously or that I know of one other book he wrote besides Where The Wild Things Are. But after hearing of his death today, I flashed back to a summer night in Mentor, Ohio when I was still young and relatively adorable. I vaguely recall my parents reading me the book that cemented Sendak’s place in children’s literature.
Like most kids, I identified with Max and still do to this day. My imagination was absolutely bizarre. From “the floor is made to lava” to the recurring visions I had of protecting my family from sniper shooters outside of our house on our way to the movie theater, my imagination led me to places as a kid no television show could possibly reveal.
(By the way, I always beat the snipers and we always got to the movie on time).
Most grow out of this “phase” and get a real job with thoughts revolving around a significant other, their 9-5 and sports. I can relate to an extent, but certainly not the 9-5. Hell, I’m writing this in my kitchen wearing the world’s most comfortable pj’s and have bedhead reminiscent of a cartoon character looking shocked. Suffice it to say, I’ve never really grown up too much, which has allowed me to come up with the occasionally amusing antics you see on Mildly Relevant News. Thank Sendak for that.
The first time I ever saw Sendak was in an interview he did with Stephen Colbert where he said he never specifically wrote for children. He simply wrote and let other people decide who the intended audience was. This seems to make it even more clear that the wild imagination witnessed in Where The Wild Things Are should never die, regardless of age.
Let the wild rumpus go on and on and on!