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Author and artist Maurice Sendak, who was best known for his iconic and controversial children’s book Where the Wild Things Are, published in 1963, died on Tuesday in Danbury, Conn. He was 83 and lived in Ridgefield, Conn.
The cause was complications from a recent stroke, according to Michael di Capua, his longtime editor. Considered the most important children’s book artist of the 20th century, Sendak was still causing a ruckus well into his eighties.
Roundly praised, intermittently censored and occasionally eaten, Mr. Sendak’s books were essential ingredients of childhood for the generation born after 1960 or thereabouts, and in turn for their children. He was known in particular for more than a dozen picture books he wrote and illustrated himself, most famously “Where the Wild Things Are,” which was simultaneously genre-breaking and career-making when it was published by Harper & Row in 1963.
Among the other titles he wrote and illustrated, all from Harper & Row, are “In the Night Kitchen” (1970) and “Outside Over There” (1981), which together with “Where the Wild Things Are” form a trilogy; “The Sign on Rosie’s Door” (1960); “Higglety Pigglety Pop!” (1967); and “The Nutshell Library” (1962), a boxed set of four tiny volumes comprising “Alligators All Around,” “Chicken Soup With Rice,” “One Was Johnny” and “Pierre.”
A full obituary will follow on LambdaLiterary.org shortly.