Recently Bob saw that the Columbus Museum of Art was having an exhibit of the works of Maurice Sendak. We decided to make a quick adventure to Columbus, Ohio and see the exhibit. I was delighted that it featured “Where the Wild Things Are.” This was a favorite of my son. I did not remember until we arrived that he also illustrated the “Little Bear” series which I used to help my children and grandchildren learn to read. His book “In the Night Kitchen” was a baby shower gift when our daughter was born.
The trust and love between mother bear and little bear are obvious in the expressions he drew.
One reason I was fascinated with his art in these books, I was working on learning to draw better and his cross-hatching is elaborate. When I read the first part of the placard below it only confirmed my observation!
In 1959, (the museum placard read), Sendak created pictures for the book The Moon Jumpers, written by Janice May Udry, which tells the story of children playing before it is time to go to bed. In this early work, the richly colored full-page scenes of children playing by the moonlight, without words, can be compared to the double page rumpus scenes in Where the Wild Things Are, which he created five years later. This work also shows how Sendak changed the scale of his images to emphasize the narratives, pictures growing larger and larger as the drama of the story intensifies, a method that also appears in Where The Wild Things Are.
In case you ever had a fantasy of being WITH the Wild Things (if not an actual Wild Thing) see this one!
Where the Wild Things Are has been translated into at least 32 languages. Sendak never wanted to write a sequel to this one. He did not want it to be a series.
The exhibit is in Columbus until March 5. If you get a minute, go see it!