Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Maurice Sendak on children’s books

For anyone interested in children’s books and reading, there’s a fascinating interview with Maurice Sendak on the New York Times website. Now 83, he talks about his own books and reflects on contemporary children’s literature. He worries that not all of it is truthful or faithful to what’s going on with children, that there is ‘a certain passivity, a going back to childhood innocence that I never quite believed in.’ Children’s books should not shield children from reality, in his view. For all the controversy that Where the Wild Things Are and some of his other picture books provoked, however, all provide security by the end. Max comes home to a hot meal: his mother still loves him, despite their arguments. For Sendak this is crucial.