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The Art of Maurice Sendak

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  823 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Creator of Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen, Higglety Pigglety Pop!, and the illustrations for dozens of other memorable children's books, Maurice Sendak has ranked among the best-known and best-loved artists in America for nearly thirty years. Now his life and work are explored in affectionate detail in this charming, fun-filled book, enticingly illustrated ...more
Hardcover, 258 pages
Published September 1st 1998 by Harry N. Abrams (first published 1980)
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Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“I remember my own childhood vividly...I knew terrible things. But I knew I mustn't let adults know I knew. It would scare them.” ― Maurice Sendak

“Where the Wild Things Are” was the late illustrator Maurice Sendak's first picture book in full color. In the beginning, it was going to be called “Where the Wild horses Are” but Sendak discovered he couldn't draw horses. So he decided to go back to the monsters in his childhood and realized they were all his Jewish uncles and aunts. Bad teeth, blood
Apr 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a biography of Sendak as artist, focusing primarily on his artistic development, with relatively little information about his personal life. Consequently, one comes away from the book not really feeling as if one knows the man, though there are certainly hints and moments of insight. Nevertheless, it is a lovely book, and it does deliver what it promises: its title specifies that its focus is the art, so its reticence about the man should not be surprising. The illustrations are lavish a ...more
Jun 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
What an incredibly talented man Maurice Sendak was! This is a real toe crusher of a book--large and definitely heavy! I had seen a short YouTube video about Sendak, but this really fleshes that out. Having a Max in our family, I am certainly partial to Where the Wild Things Are--in fact, I sewed a Max costume for our grandson. I was interested to read that the love of his life was Jennie, his Sealyham dog, who figures in both prose and poetry in his work. My husband considers his art inconsequen ...more
John Millard
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: people
I remember this from my childhood. My mother liked the book and we enjoyed it as well although I do have a vague feeling that I found it a bit scary. Anyway, jump ahead 45 or so years and my wife Amy and I own The Night Kitchen Bakery in Philadelphia. So, once again my mother came through and bought this book for me a couple years ago which my wife remembered. I had forgotten it and just thought that it was there on our shelf going back to who knows when and it ...more
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful. The work and life story of one of my favorite illustrators compiled into one gorgeous book. This is a forever book that I will revisit again and again.
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Dominick has put it better than I could.
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Lovely retrospective volume. Very interesting story of the becoming of a commercial artist and the fruits of creativity and truly following one's calling.
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Stephen King
Recommended to Ryan by: Stephen King
I love this book.
Jul 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food
What’s not to love if you are Sendak fan? Written by a long-time friend, this is a coffee table style book with huge, full-page illustrations from a full range of Sendak’s work.
Jan 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a huge book (physically large) at 270ish pages. Selma G. Lanes provides a historical perspective to M. Sendak's life's works. The pictures are absolutely amazing. Having only seen a few of Sendak's work, I thought he could only draw in one particular fashion. It was amazing to see what he is capable of. Sendak incorporates much of his life into his illustrations and stories. It was particularly interesting to see the drafts and progress to his final work. This book was written in the 198 ...more
sofie  jacobsen
Oct 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
"It's only adults who read the top layer most of the time. I'm generalizing again, of course, but I'll bet my pictures don't surprise kids. They know what's in Grimm. They know that stepmother probably means mother; that the word step is there to avoid frightening a lot of older people. Children know there are mothers who abandon their children, emotionally if not literally. Sometimes they have to live with this fact. They don't lie to themselves. They wouldn't survive if they did. And my object ...more
Perssis Namour
Aug 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Loved reading about Maurice. I only wish they had given more detail about him growing up. There was a lot dedicated to his 20's and growing into adulthood but I feel robbed of his youth and culture. They left out any significant detail about his parents. Besides being Jewish immigrants and his love of storytelling inherited by his father again there is something lacking. This book while very detailed and colorful it's like someone describing the wonderful 5 star restaurant to you and the three c ...more
Jonathan Dearborn
Apr 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A collection of some of the most important moments of childhood for me. I own most of his books, and got them as they came out. The Nut Shell Library etc. If u like him at all, and Love good Books. This is a MUST. Well made, large, Color Prints to die for. His early art made as a boy, his later works unreleased, all perfectly displayed . If on wishes to learn about him, or just view his art, this is it!
Feb 23, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Great art! A bit slow, but worth a read if you love his work. The author gives you insight into why he draw they way he does compared to other artists of the same time. The book however, only focuses on his life as an artist, not on particularly on his whole life, just those parts that impacted his art. In other words, if you want to know why he never married or had kids, the book won't tell you.
Aug 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Although this is an oversized, coffee-table style book, it has a lot of great information in it, not just the wonderful art of Sendak. I learned more about this man as an artist and creator of children's books. It's especially interesting to read about all the writers he collaborated with over the years in addition to creating his own books.
May 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a book for adults who love children's books. The most interesting part of the book is the information about Mopsy, Sendak's beloved dog, who appears in a number of his books. I also enjoyed reading about In the Night Kitchen and how Sendak dealt with criticism.
Kimberly Zebrowski
Jun 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is perfect for any Maurice Sendak fan! It has some great info about Sendak's earlier work and a few fold-out pages in the middle of the book that are illustrations from Where the Wild Things Are. This is one of my favorites in my art book collection.
Margaret Willey
Aug 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I learned so much about Sendak and his artistry and his life and how the two were so closely intertwined. Sendak is one of my all time literary heroes because he stayed so true to his own vision of both childhood and art.
Feb 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: lovers of children's literature and illustrators; those interested in Maurice Sendak
Ah, Maurice! Some about his beginnings and lots about the history of his art. Lots of sketchbook examples and lots and lots of his finished art. The story of books he illustrated and books he wrote and illustrated. A joy.
Feb 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
My daughter, who grew up with Sedak's books, and I were absolutely delighted to see this.
Nov 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
interesting. learned lots. great art.
Nov 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Very cool book on this genius man! Scored it at Goodwill for $6.99!
May 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
One of my favorite books from one of my favorite authors, and the world is now a sadder place that Maurice Sendak is no longer here.
May 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The author is incorrecct, it is Tony Kushner and his contribution is a large part of what makes this gorgeous book also so profound!
Marie-pierre Stien
Aug 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art
A very good retrospective of Sandak's journey.
Oct 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I really love his off the wall drawings. I always knew he had a freak flag. Lots of great art and information in this book. Fan for life. My favorite illustrations are of his dog and love, Jennie.
Apr 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Most comprehensive anthology of Sendaks work including adult fiction. Selma Lanes is one of my favorites critics writing about children's literature.
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: stopped-reading
Great artwork. Did not like the authors writing style or layout of the book.
Nov 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-recommend-it
This is an excellent book, I recommend it.
May 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Well edited and interesting of Maurice Sendak`s life. Great pictures ...more
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