Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Maurice Sendak

I was babysitting Little E. Saturday night and among the myriad of books I picked to read over the course of the evening I happen to grab "Where The Wilds Things Are". "That's my favorite" he exclaimed for the fourth time that night (apparently a lot of his books have recently escalated to favorite status) as I opened it up. I hadn't read it since I gave it to him a year or two ago. I felt it only fitting since he had a print of the wild rumpus framed above his bookshelf. To be honest, the book always scared me a little bit, between the claws, horns and teeth. Those creatures are scary and I always worried that Max would get scared and the wild things would sense that and turn on him and eat him or something equally awful. But, as you well know, I am a worrier.

I met Maurice Sendak once, though my memories of it are foggy at best. I was in elementary school, and loved books but cared little for authors yet, when my mom and I hopped in the car with my friend Zachary and his mom and headed into Boston. I remember thinking how special this night was because I was going into the city and would certainly be up past my bedtime. I don't remember exactly what venue the reading/talk was at but I have a feeling it was the Isabella Gardner Museum because my two memories are of sitting at the back of a room surrounded by adults while Maurice spoke and walking slowly towards that room and peeking through windows lining the hall to a shadowy garden below. I wish I could have been older to truly appreciate being there.

 I saw Spike Jonze's "Where The Wild Things Are" in the theatre with a girlfriend and felt so many emotions (yes, we all know I can be quite emotional at the drop of a hat). But Jonze's version of that small book was beyond anything I could have dreamt up. If you have not seen it I recommend you do so, preferably on a rainy, cozy Sunday with a cup of tea and a blanket.


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