Google Doodle Celebrates ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ Author Maurice Sendak


Maurice Sendak was born on this date 85 years ago. A Google Doodle today pays tribute to the author and illustrator known for such children’s books as “Where the Wild Things Are,” “In the Night Kitchen”, and “Outside Over There.”

Sendak captured the imagination and hearts of children and adults alike through his creative storytelling and colorful illustrations. If you aren’t familiar with his books, you may remember the 2009 screen adaptation of the 1963 classic children’s book, “Where the Wild Things Are.”

Today’s Google Doodle takes visitors on an animated journey through Sendak’s alternate storybook worlds, and ends with a gathering of the creatures from his tales in celebration of the author.


Explains Doodler Jennifer Hom:

To honor such a cherished cultural icon is no small task. How can anyone sing the praises of Maurice Sendak with enough affection? The doodlers and I decided to let Sendak’s characters do the talking, or the walking rather. The doodle is a kind of parade– sixteen of his characters march through their stories and gather around a birthday cake decked with candles that read “85.” Even his dog, Herman, makes an appearance to wish Maurice a warm happy birthday.

Google gave us a sneak peek into the evolution of the artistic process that made today’s Doodle come to life. Here, you can see how one piece developed over time:


A Look into the Mind and Inspiration Behind Sendak’s Books

Sendak had a somewhat difficult past. Born to immigrants, he lost family members in the Holocaust, and said he drew inspiration for his stories – stories that many believed were too dark for children – from his own life.

In a 2004 interview with PBS, Sendak talked about how his storytelling style was different than others in his genre. He told it like it was. He painted a less-than-perfect picture, and says that really resonated with some.

On the creation of “Where the Wild Things Are,” Sendak said he was “talking about kids I knew and me. A book, an American book, where the child actually daunts his mother and threatens her. No way. No way.”

But the children who did connect with the storyline would write him fan mail, asking him difficult questions about life that he says they were too afraid to ask their parents. “I’ve known many children, many unhappy and many disturbed children who don’t know how to talk about it,” Sendak said.

“They have to know it’s possible things are bad. But, they are surrounded by people who love them and will protect them, but cannot hide the fact that there is something bad.”

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