They’re a funny thing, children’s books. Some people seem to think that to craft a great one is somehow easy, an exercising in pandering and restricting yourself. But let’s just look at the name. We don’t call other books “adult books” (well, not those anyway) and why? Because we understand they just don’t appeal to all adults and are rather books for historians, or depressive, or chick-lit or any number of other things. But a true children’s book has the immense and awe-inspiring power to capture the hearts and minds of all children, to collectively delight the world’s most precious commodity.
Maurice Sendak, author of Where The Wild Things Are, arguably the most enduring children’s book of all time passed away today at the age of 83. Where The Wild Things Are is the story of monsters and dreams, yes, but also of escape, perceived independence, and finally the confidence to know that you’re not alone and indeed don’t want to be. Sendak wrote a book with beauty, intellect, and a deep empathy for the mind of the child. All too often our youngest citizens are condescended too, but Sendak refused this. That’s why his work will endure long after his death.- Whole Milk