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Last night, I went with family to see the Maurice Sendak exhibit at the downtown Tacoma Library! I became a fan as an adult, rather than as a kid. His slight cantankerousness towards topics he deemed unworthy and the decided melancholy he spoke of childhood with, both charmed and endeared me to him. The clincher was the openness and simplicity with which he shared his feelings in the following quote: “I cry a lot because I miss people. They die and I can’t stop them. They leave me and I love them more.”

His incredibly popular book “Where the Wild Things Are” was originally meant to be titled “Where the Wild Horses Are.” Problem? Sendak couldn’t draw horses and when asked by his editor, “Maurice, what can you draw?”, his response was “Things.” These “Things” were based on his relatives from childhood whom often told him he “looked so good we could eat you up,” and his mother who called him a “vilde chaya,” meaning “wild animal” in Yiddish.


Here’s my favorite image of King Max from the exhibit (Maurice drew him for a fan, because, of course he did!) creating a wild rumpus.


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