The Man Who Remembered Childhood



Children’s author, Maurice Sendak passed May 8, 2012. His books and films were a large part of my childhood. Books such as Pierre, A Kiss for Little Bear, and of course, Where the Wild Things Are were all a part of my formative years. Sendak was one of the first author/ illustrators that I could identify in the school library just by seeing his dark, scribbly drawing style which Sendak described as “taken by Goya.” The dark humor of a Sendak book was the same as the humor I encountered everyday. He had a way of remembering that children are interested in the macabre. Children want to be adults and they want control. Pierre was all about control with the title character’s insistence, “I don’t care” to his parents pleas. At the end, Pierre is safe with his parents in a way that simply implies that children still need help.

My family owned the Really Rosie album (and I do mean album!) with songs performed by Carole King. My siblings who are much older, shared their love of this record with me, a child of the 80s. We pursued good times with this album during my parent’s split in the mid-90s after we were given a huge 1960s stereo from a great aunt. It was the same stereo my mother listened to as a child.

I would like to thank Sendak for making my childhood more comfortable, even if he was seeking to scare children. His stories allowed my imagination roam inspiring me to be a writer and an artist. Really Rosie gave me a bond with my much older siblings. Sendak’s character, Rosie of the Nutshell Library, was an inspiration for me as a quiet, bookish child. She is boisterous and she can do anything! The Nutshell TV series was one of many influences that lead to me living in New York.

Really Rosie (as sung by Carole King in 1975)

I’m really Rosie
And I’m Rosie Real
You better believe me
I’m a great big deal!

BELIEVE ME!

I’m a star from afar
Off the golden coast
Beat the drum! Make that toast!
To Rosie the Most!

BELIEVE ME!

I can sing
Tea for Two and Two for Tea
I can act
To be or not to be
I can tap
Across the Tappan Zee
Hey, can’t you see?
I’m terrific at everything!
No star shines so bright as me–Rosie!

BELIEVE ME!

I’m Really Rosie

I’m Rosie Real

I’m Really Rosie

BELIEVE ME!



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