When illustrator Maurice Sendak died earlier this month, another light from my childhood ... well, mine and many millions of others ... was extinguished. I can honestly say that I loved his work all of my life, beginning with Ruth Krauss' A Hole Is to Dig
(1952). Back in the day, we were eligible to buy books from The Weekly Reader program twice per year, and my first choice was What Do You Say, Dear?
(1958) by Sesyle Joslin. Of course I had decent table manners (thank you, Mom), but what do
you say when the Queen feeds you so much spaghetti that you don't fit in your chair anymore? And the illustrations were hysterically funny in the way that things are when one is six years old. That nailed it: I was Maurice's fan for life. So much so, and still, that I have written a humble biography of Maurice Sendak
Decades later with children of my own, we revisited all of the Sendak titles I remembered and more. Do you think that he knew how much he meant to us? I hope so. I hope that as he slipped out of this world he sailed back over a year
and in and out of weeks
and through a day
and into the night of his very own room.
I hope he found his supper waiting for him. I hope it was still hot.