Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Alligators All Around

I just read that Maurice Sendak passed away, and I'm thinking lots about it. Of course I am a fan of his work and grew up with his books, and I even have a signed print of his hanging in my house. I have also visited the incredible Rosenbach Museum in Philadelphia twice (baby Romy had a first look at original art from "Where the Wild Things Are"). It's just interesting when you hear things as an adult either about a person or said by a person or first hand interactions with a person who was a part of your childhood. It's never quite what you want or expect. Not that I know anything horrible about Sendak; not like learning my favorite childhood author, Roald Dahl, was an anti-Semite (Fact? I still don't know for sure). But lots of authors and illustrators, along with filmmakers and musicians, aren't what I expect. Some people can overlook the personality or opinion of an artist if they like their work. I am not one of those people. Like, I could never get into Oasis because the guys seemed like such assholes. Plus, their music was boring. Not that Oasis is relevant anymore (or was ever as relevant as they thought they were). Um, what was I talking about? Maurice Sendak. I hope this doesn't sound like I have some horrid opinion of him; I do not. I'm just thinking about being a grown-up and knowing things that I didn't know when I was a kid. My favorite Sendak works are by far the Nutshell library. And I think I have Carol King to thank for that. I am a fierce lover of Really Rosie, Pierre, and all of the gang from the cutest, darkest little box of books to ever grace my bookshelf. I had the Carol King album of the songs as a kid, and I hilariously autographed Carol's name on her photo in the album fold. My favorite of all is Pierre. It's so nonsensical, and yet it completely makes sense. At least it did as a kid. That's pretty much how Sendak's books work, I think. Most recently, my daughter fell in love with his monster pop-up book, "Mommy?" I thought the book would freak her out, with all of the monsters and weirdness, but she loves it. She gets it.

Alack, aday, oh whoa, oy vey. Chicken soup passed away.

1 comment:

Betsy said...

Chicken Soup with Rice and Pierre were some of my all time favorite things growing up.