Monday, September 19, 2011

Where the Wild Things Still Are; or, Children Are Beasts

A delightful and acerbic look at children's books today from one of my heroes, the irrepressible Maurice Sendak. What's wrong with kids' books today? They're too goddamn nice!

When your work first appeared, it was considered to be new, something different. What were you doing that nobody else had done?

I was developing a child who I recognized as myself as a child, from my observations of other children around me in Brooklyn. We were wild creatures. We did things that were objectionable.

Max, to me, was a very average normal kid, but he upset a lot of people at the time. He yelled at his mother, he talked back to her, she deprived him of food and then gave it to him. Children who fight back, children who are full of excitement are the kind of children I like.

Max was a little beast, and we’re all little beasts. That was what was so novel.

More terrific observations about the cowards that were and are our parents from Mr. Sendak here. God, I love this man!

"On the Phone With Maurice Sendak" (The New York Times)


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