Maurice Sendak, the children’s book author and illustrator who saw the sometimes-dark side of childhood in books like “Where the Wild Things Are” and “In the Night Kitchen,” died early Tuesday. He was 83. Longtime friend and caretaker Lynn Caponera said she was with him when Sendak died at a hospital in Danbury, Conn. She said he had a stroke on Friday. Sendak received the international Hans Christian Andersen medal for illustration in 1970. In 1983 he won the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award from the American Library Association.
“Where the Wild Things Are” earned Sendak a prestigious Caldecott Medal for the best children’s book of 1964 and became a hit movie in 2009. President Bill Clinton awarded Sendak a National Medal of the Arts in 1996 for his vast portfolio of work. Sendak didn’t limit his career to a safe and successful formula of conventional children’s books, though it was the pictures he did for wholesome works such as Ruth Krauss’ “A Hole Is To Dig” and Else Holmelund Minarik’s “Little Bear” that launched his career.