I don’t think it is too horribly out of line to say that Maurice Sendak had a fairly big influence on my childhood. I suppose most people cite Where The Wild Things Are—and rightly so. But what I consumed perhaps most frequently and connected with most intimately were the Little Bear books.
Written by Else Holmelund Minarik, Sendak was merely the illustrator. “Merely”. HA—!
This image, perhaps more than any other, is iconic of my childhood. It’s a simple drawing of simple characters, at least compared to the explosion of grotesquery and awesomeness of the monsters from Where The Wild Things Are, but Little Bear is infused with such a magnificent personality.
Look at how Little Bear is posed, with his hat, the way his left foot is tipped—just so!, the way he’s gazing up at his mother with that little wave.
It is a great series of books, one which I still recommend people read—even if it is just aloud to their kids before bed.
Rest in Peace, Maurice.