Top Ten Maurice Sendak Quotes

Maurice Sendak, a famed children’s book author and illustrator passed away last week at the age of 83. His works, which include Where The WIld Things Are, In The Night’s Kitchen and most recently, Bumble-Ardy, are some of the staples of children’s books in the western world. Known for being extremely honest in is depictions of life’s intricacies and for having a keen and insightful understanding of the children psyche, Mr.Sendak was also known for his sharp wit and even sharper opinions.

I have been reading some of his works and listening to his interviews lately and, to me, it just seems like he was someone who loved and respected himself and his mind which is pretty apparent in the things he spoke. Here are ten of my favorite quotes said by Maurice Sendak.

1. “You cannot write for children. They’re much too complicated. You can only write books that are of interest to them.”

2. “Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.” Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.”

3. “And Max, the king of all wild things, was lonely and wanted to be where someone loved him best of all.”

4. “Peter Rabbit, for all its gentle tininess, loudly proclaims that no story is worth the writing, no picture worth the making, if it is not a work of imagination.”

5. On ebooks: “I hate them. It’s like making believe there’s another kind of sex. There isn’t another kind of sex. There isn’t another kind of book! A book is a book is a book.”

6. “. . .from their earliest years children live on familiar terms with disrupting emotions, fear and anxiety are an intrinsic part of their everyday lives, they continually cope with frustrations as best they can. And it is through fantasy that children achieve catharsis. It is the best means they have for taming Wild Things.”

7. “I refuse to lie to children. I refuse to cater to the bullsh*t of innocence.”

8. “I cry a lot because I miss people. They die and I can’t stop them. They leave me and I love them more.”

9. On politics: “These Republican schnooks would be comical if they weren’t not funny.”

10. “…The wild things cried ‘Please don’t go. We’ll eat you up. We love you so.’”


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