I LOVED his characters and I truly believed in them. His characters are REAL they are headstrong, bossy, sometimes even obnoxious! His books were groundbreaking in the sixties because they were a departure from the normal safe sweet picture books. Children love them because they depict something they recoginise- being sent to bed without supper and true emotional battles. Sendak sometimes brought the reader to dark places, was unsentimental and he never NEVER underestimated his audience.
Maurice made me love books and I try to share that love in any way I can everyday. He was my biggest influence as a picture book maker and artist. I make books about Hugglemonsters, Ravenous Beasts; my own 'Wild Things.' He inspired me to never underestimate my audience, to never patronise or speak down to children but also to have fun, to spread a little anarchy with my words and pictures.
My favourite Sendak Quote is when he talked about when a little boy sent him a letter-
I highly recommend Terry Gross's collected interviews with Sendak on NPR Her interviews with Sendak over the years show his passion and give wonderful insight into Sendak as an artist and as a unique human being. The last interview moved me to tears.