Remembering Maurice Sendak (RIP)

Beloved children’s author Maurice Sendak died this morning as a result of the stroke he suffered on Friday. He was 83.

Sendak — who’s known for writing some of the darkest and most unsentimental stories in children’s literature — had a “moment” in 2009 when his most famous work, Where the Wild Things Are, was adapted for film (again) with some help from Spike Jonze. But I don’t want to talk about Where the Wild Things Are. Because everyone’s talking about Where the Wild Things Are. I want to remember Maurice Sendak via his animated musical, Really Rosie.

Really Rosie told some of Sendak’s more famous stories — Chicken Soup with Rice and Pierre, to name a few — through song, voiced by the legendary Carole King. Yes, Carole “It’s too late, baby” King. And apparently, it was required that any teacher hired by my elementary school play this record exhaustively, until every kid in my class could recite each of Sendak’s stories by heart. I don’t remember much about any of the books I read in elementary school (besides Bridge to Terabithia, be still my heart), but I do remember singing “The Ballad of Chicken Soup” on a school bus as my class made its way home from our 5th grade senior class trip (right after we finished singing the CrazySexyCool album in its entirety). I remember the little blue record player my first grade class used to listen to the Really Rosie soundtrack for the first (and bajillionith) time. I remember what it was like to sit in a circle on the rug, what it was like to have a sing-along, what it was like to be a kid.

Maurice Sendak once said, “I cry a lot because I miss people. They die and I can’t stop them. They leave me and I love them more.” Today, I know what he means. TC mark

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  • Gregory H.

    OMFG I LOVE REALLY ROSIE

    My mom would play that tape for me and my brothers since before I could talk, it began my undying love for all things Carole King. I am thrilled to know someone else loved that as much as me.

    This is the first I am hearing of Mr. Sendak’s passing also. What a brilliant man, he will surely be missed. RIP

  • Stephanie

    Thank you!!!   I  must’ve checked out that video from the public library more times that I could count…. I may have deprived all other kids from seeing it I had it borrowed so often!  That music was officially the soundtrack of my preschool days.

  • steinlette

    Thanks for everything, Maurice. I may have cried a little bit listening to “Chicken Soup with Rice”.

  • Guest

     “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.” –M.S.

    I miss Maurice Sendak already and I never even really knew him. Rest in peace.

  • MP9090909

    How could you forget Little Bear?

    • Sophia

      seconded. Little Bear was the single best childhood show. I miss it.

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