Sendak to Stephen: "You Are a Man of Little Imagination..."

Stephanie Hunt


Who didn't pause yesterday, and bow, ever so briefly, in deep gratitude to the astonishing mind that sprouted forests out of our childhood bedrooms.


What writer, or reader, or member of the human race, didn't sigh and give a slow, sad shake of the head when hearing that Maurice Sendak had died. 


The multitudes have already blogged and tweeted and posted a zillion odes, so I humbly offer simply one more: 


~~ a little girl's memory of devouring details in Sendak's illustrations, and the way they all came back to me, vivid and wild as ever, when I read his books to my own children


~~a mother's gratitude for Little Bear, Swine Lake and other Sendakian gifts of literary and visual genius that made me want to pull my girls close and turn pages upon pages, even when I was tired out of my mind


~~a writer's delight at re-reading WTWTA (Where the Wild Things Are) as a grown up, with new appreciation and astonishment at the spare poetry and rhythmic wonder of his craft


~~a daughter's tender heart at watching Spike Jonze's wonderful film version of WTWTA with my mother in her last months of life, knowing she'd love those bizarre but so very real creatures in all their quirky humaness. And she did.


Then amidst the tributes, I found this clip from a Colbert interview. It's a duel of eyebrows, of expertly choreographed facial expressions—one brilliant mind playing off the other, with some zinger Newt Gingrich slams and other yummy tidbits thrown in.


It's hard to love Sendak even more than I already did, but if anyone can make me, it's Stephen Colbert and his little bag of penises.