Maurice Sendak: Through Controversy To Success

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Maurice Sendak: Through Controversy To Success

“These are difficult times for children. Children have to be brave to survive what the world does to them. And this world is scrungier and rougher and dangerouser than it ever was before”—Maurice Sendak

Throughout the past fifty years, Maurice Sendak has been a challenging and inventive voice for children’s literature. His work will continue to be entertaining and educational for young children and adults alike for many years to come. Sendak has won many awards for his work in children’s literature; however, much controversy surrounds his work. Sendak’s books have had grotesque characters, kids becoming “wild things”, kids get stolen by goblins, kids are eaten by lions, and some kids are naked. Through all the controversy that has surrounded Sendak’s books, he has risen to success.

Maurice Sendak was born in Brooklyn, New York on June 10, 1928, according to American Masters-PBS. His parents were Polish-Jewish immigrants who came to the United States before World War I. Mr. Sendak started to draw as a child, because he was sick child and spent most of his life indoors. Drawing gave Sendak time to let his imagination run wild.

After graduating from high school, Sendak published a number of drawings in the textbook Atomics for the Millions (1947). He worked for F.A.O. Schwartz for four years as a window dresser while taking classes at New York Art Student League. Sendak illustrated books for Marcel Ayme’s The Wonderful Farm (1951), which is currently out of print, and Ruth Krauss’s A Hole is to Dig (1952). Sendak decided to become a full-time freelance children’s book illustrator, after he did the illustrations for those two books.

Sendak’s mother was di...

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...m, but it has not stopped the awards and recognition pouring in on his books. He does not let this controversy stop him from writing or illustrating. Sendak keeps doing what he does best, writing and illustrating books that put children and adults into another world and let their imagination run wild.

Works Cited

American Masters-PBS, Maurice Sendak.

Biography Maurice Sendak.

Educational Paperback Association.

Gregory, Carol and Ramsey, Inez. Maurice Sendak, Children’s Book Author.

National Endowment for the Arts, The. Maurice Sendak.
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