This month of illustrating classics from children’s literature has been rewarding but intimidating. And today’s is one of the most daunting for me. I am obsessed with Maurice Sendak‘s entire body of work. So I hope that I have done justice in reinterpreting the the final scene from “Where The Wild Things Are“. The book’s first version (nearly 10 years before publication) was a miniature dummy (.75″high by 7” long) called “Where the Wild Horses Are” about a boy that follows a series of signs to find the wild horses and is quickly chased away into a series of other dangers before setting sail for ‘Happy Island’ where things are finally set right. Since Sendak didn’t feel he could draw horses very well it took a while to decide what ‘things’ to replace them with. The ‘Things’ in the final book are based on his memories of his Brooklyn relatives that came on Sundays and terrorized the young Sendak with their cheek pinching, voracious appetites, “bad teeth, and hairy noses“.
Where the Wild Things Are, 5″x5″, ink and watercolor on illustration board