Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tuesday Talk: Maurice Sendak

I chose Maurice Sendak this week because he has received more Caldecott Honors than any other illustrator.  Over his career, he was the runner up seven times, only winning the actual medal once (Where the Wild Things Are in 1964).  While he wrote a lot of his own books, most of his recognition came from his illustrations of other author's work.  His Caldecott Honors are as follows:

1954-A Very Special House
1959-What Do You Say, Dear?
1960- The Moon Jumpers
1962-Little Bear's Visit
1963-Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present
1971-In the Night Kitchen
1982-Outside Over There

His work has reached various venues in the art world, from TV to movies to the stage.  He is widely argued to be one of the most influential, greatest, important and sometimes controversial illustrators of the twentieth century.  Over the course of his life (he died in 2012), he won many awards for his work.  Most notably were the Hans Christen Anderson Award, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (Katherine Paterson is the only other author to ever win all three).  People tend to have mixed feelings about him and his work, but I don't think anyone can deny the impact he made on the picture book world.  I find most of his books a little weird, but I have always been a fan of his artwork.  As a child I always loved the Nutshell Library.  I'm sure it was more to do with the size of the books than the actual stories.  My great aunt had a copy of it that I used to love to play with.  I swear at least one of the books had a fur cover.  I also have a copy of The Nutcracker he illustrated that I just love.  He was definitely a talented illustrator that left his mark on the children's book world.  If you aren't familiar with his illustrations you have probably been living under a rock, but you should definitely take a moment to browse his book library.  Happy reading!

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