Google Doodle: Maurice Sendak's 85th birthday commemorated with 'Where The Wild Things Are' animation
Much-loved illustrator and author, who died last year, honoured with Doodle
Jonathan Gibbs reviews books for The Independent and elsewhere. His novel Randall, about the contemporary art world and the fate of the YBAs, is published by Galley Beggar Press. He blogs on this aspect of his writing at tinycamels.wordpress.com
Monday 10 June 2013
Google has commemorated the much-loved, though sometimes controversial, American children's author and book illustrator, Maurice Sendak, best known for Where The Wild Things Are.
Sendak, who would have celebrated his 85th birthday today, was a superb artist who created some of the most original children's books every published. Some had his own text and pictures, such as In The Night Kitchen, Outside Over There and Higglety Pigglety Pop! while others, including Mr Rabbit and The Lovely Present and A Hole is to Dig, matched his illustrations to others' words
Where the Wild Things Are, with its anarchic hero in the form of wolf suit-wearing Max, caused controversy on its publication in 1963, when some teachers and librarians thought it could be a bad influence on children, or otherwise be too frightening or disturbing for them. However, it went on to unprecedented success, selling over 19 million copies worldwide, and was later both turned into an opera and adapted for the cinema by screenwriter Dave Eggers and director Spike Jonze.
The Google video starts with Max and the wild things, and then moves on to show Mickey and the three bakers (all modelled on Oliver Hardy) from In The Night Kitchen, a book that ruffled no fewer feathers than Where the Wild Things Are, not least for showing Mickey naked, with, at times, his penis clearly visible - though, it must be said, not in the Google video. The final set of characters are from 2005's Bumble-Ardy
Sendak died in 2012 from complications following a stroke. His last book, My Brother's Book, was published posthumously.
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