The piece Maurice Sendak dies; author and illustrator wrote about children’s survival from the by Becky Krystal in the Washington Post tells about how Sendak was affected by "the deaths of family members in the Holocaust." Being the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, I feel like I have an understanding of this man, his art, his soul.
After I had undergone a minor but uncomfortable surgical procedure in January 2008, I was given free tickets to see a Metropolitan Opera production of Hansel & Gretel Opera that featured Sendak's stage design. Despite my condition, I had to go, even if I couldn't sit through the entire performance. I'm so glad I did, it was glorious and like being inside one of his books.
Illustration from Where the Wild Things Are
Sendak though mostly known for his children's books in addition to Where The Wild Things Are, Chicken Soup and Rice, and his more notorious In the Night Kitchen, among others, admits in his interview with Stephen Colbert just a couple of months before his passing, that he does not write for children, but says that "I write. And someone says 'that's for children.'" This is a very humorous interview in which Sendak plays a great straight man against, Colbert's multitude of quips.
Good night Maurice, may you rest in peace. I will remember you fondly.