“But the wild things cried, “Oh please don’t go – we’ll eat you up – we love you so!”
And Max said, “No!”
The wild things roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws but Max stepped into his private boat and waved goodbye.”
from “Where the Wild Things Are,” by Maurice Sendak
I was fortunate to be assigned to photograph renowned children’s book author and illustrator Maurice Sendak at his Ridgefield home in 2006 to accompany a story being written by Courant arts writer Frank Rizzo in advance of the children’s opera ”Brundibar,” in which he collaborated, to be presented in New Haven. Sendak died this week at age 83 in Danbury after suffering a stroke. He leaves behind a body of work that will leave indelible marks on generations of children. His iconic “Where the Wild Things Are” is at once strange and captivating. I always marveled at the “monsters” he drew that blurred the line between fear and fascination, revulsion and charm. When my son, Will, was little, I read “Where the Wild Things Are” to him dozens of times. I always imagined a little bit of Max in Will, and how perhaps he related to Max’s escape to the land of the wild things after being scolded. Here are a few of my favorite images from my brief time with the late, great Maurice Sendak.