Tuesday, May 8th, 2012
Since its first release in 1963 by Harper & Row, Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are” has continuously appeared on “best books for kids” lists from the past few decades. (In fact, his book was featured on several Parents book lists, including Best Books for Toddlers, The All-Time Best Books for Preschoolers, and Best Bedtime Books.) The famous author and illustrator, who also made headlines in January for a hilarious 2-part interview on “The Colbert Report,” passed away on Tuesday from stroke complications. He was 83 years old.
Parents have often been divided about Sendak’s most famous book, which won a Caldecott Medal in 1964 and became a live-action film directed by Spike Jonze in 2009. Some have been charmed by the tale of a boy (Max) in a white fur suit who asserts his independence by sailing off, having adventures, and taming the wild things of a faraway kingdom. Other parents have been less charmed by the book, finding it a bewildering tale of a boy who behaves badly and then is rewarded by becoming king of the wild things, a legion of gigantic and scary monsters with fangs and claws. It is also a tale without a traditional narrative and it ends on an ambiguous (though vaguely happy) note.
Even though Sendak was best known for this one book, he also wrote and illustrated other unusual books such as the controversial ”In the Night Kitchen” (a naked boy dream-falls into a baker’s kitchen), “Outside Over There” (a young girl rescues her sister from goblins), and “Bumble-Ardy” (published recently in September 2011, about an orphaned pig who throws himself a birthday party). A new book of an illustrated poem, “My Brother’s Book,” will also be published posthumously in Feburary 2013.
While he also wrote some light-hearted stories such as “Chicken Soup with Rice” (a rhyming tale about a boy who eats a year’s worth of soup), his stories often had a slightly sinister edge and depicted darkness alongside innocence and fantasy. There’s no doubt that Sendak was a legend and a one-of-a-kind storyteller who was willing to embrace and reveal an imperfect side of children’s personalities (his famous book starts with Max having a temper tantrum), and about our continual struggle to tame the beast within all of us — and come out of the other side a little more world-weary but wiser and more imaginative.
“And he sailed back over a year
and in and out of weeks
and through a day
and into the night of his very own room
where he found his supper waiting for him
and it was still hot.” (“Where the Wild Things Are”)
We’ll miss your unique storytelling, Maurice Sendak.
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Tuesday, May 8th, 2012
Mothers Like Chubby Toddlers, Study Suggests
Mothers of overweight toddlers often mistakenly think their children are normal weight, and mothers of underweight toddlers often wish they were plumper, U.S. researchers said on Monday.
Maurice Sendak, Author of Splendid Nightmares, Dies at 83
Mr. Sendak, known in particular for “Where the Wild Things Are,” was widely considered the most important children’s book artist of the 20th century.
Why Up to 90% of Asian Schoolchildren Are Nearsighted
Researchers say the culprit is academic ambition: spending too much time studying indoors and not enough hours in bright sunlight is ruining kids’ eyesight.
Olympics-London Games Venues Opened to ‘Babes in Arms’
Babies will be allowed into London Olympic venues without a ticket if they are firmly fastened to an adult, organizers said on Tuesday in a climb-down after complaints from angry mothers.
1 in 8 Teens Misuses Prescription Painkillers
One in eight older teens has used powerful painkillers when they weren’t prescribed — and many of them start misusing the medications earlier than was previously assumed, according to new research.
Asian Women Command Premium Prices for Egg Donation in U.S.
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Asian women can get about $10,000 to $20,000 for their eggs, while women of other ethnic groups typically get about $6,000.
Friday, September 23rd, 2011
OTC Inhalers to be Phased Out to Protect Ozone Layer
Asthma patients who rely on over-the-counter inhalers will need to switch to prescription-only alternatives as part of the federal government’s latest attempt to protect the Earth’s atmosphere.
Teachers Say Survey Found 7,000 Classes Overcrowded
The number of overcrowded classes in New York is the largest in 10 years, according to a survey conducted by the teachers union and released on Thursday.
Study Finds Tooth Decay Prevalent Among Alaska Native Children
Alaska Native children in remote villages have rates of tooth decay about four times the national average, a government study showed.
Heavier Children Have More Social Problems – Study
Children who are heavier than their peers at ages four and five are more likely to struggle in their relationships with other children several years later, according to an Australian study.
Maurice Sendak Scares Parents with New Book
Maurice Sendak has released his new book, ‘Bumble-Ardy’. As with ‘Where the Wild Things Are’, some parents are not sure it’s a children’s book.
The Wisdom of Crowds
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Couple asks Facebook for help naming baby.
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