Beloved children's author Maurice Sendak has died at the age of 83. Illinois State University children's literature professor Jan Susina championed Sendak to a Modern Language Association Honorary Fellowship. Susina says in books such as Where the Wild Things Are and Outside Over There, Sendak challenged adult assumptions of the perfect child.
Susina says Sendak crafted beautifully designed books and is the William Blake of children's picture books. In another work, "Outside Over There", which is about a child abducted by goblins who is then rescued by his sister, Susina says Sendak worked through his own childhood trauma associated with the Lindberg baby kidnapping. Susina's own favorite is "Higgledy Piggledy Pop or There Must Be More To Life."
Hear more of Susina's appreciation of Maurice Sendak.
Susina also says not only was Sendak an outstanding creator of picture books, he was a sensitive critic of picture books as well. His collection of essays "Caldecott and Co.: Notes on Books and Pictures (1988) reveal his deep appreciation and knowledge of book illustration and the picture book tradition which greatly contributed to his own works.
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