May 8th was a dark day for readers young and old, as the news spread of the death of Maurice Sendak. As we assembled tribute displays, the Library staff had many warm thoughts about the man who changed the face of children’s literature forever. Some of us are old enough to have grown up with Little Bear, others had first encountered The Nutshell Library (“Chicken Soup with Rice” and other stories), and, of course, everyone knew Max. As a matter of fact, “Where the Wild Things Are” remains so popular, the Library had recently made arrangements for a visit by The Wild Thing on June 2nd, as part of a community open house we are planning.
Patrons, too, had many memories to share. A mother of a 1-year-old related that “Where the Wild Things Are” is their family bedtime story every night, even though her daughter is still too young to really grasp either the words or the pictures. But this tale was an important part of the mother’s own childhood, and she knew from the first that she wanted to pass this on to the next generation. That, truly, is the legacy of Maurice Sendak and his creations.