Thinking about the death of Maurice Sendak over the last few days, I'm struck by how much my generation owes his. Mr. Sendak belongs to a small group of artists who, along with an even smaller group of forward thinking producers and editors , changed the face of children's literature and entertainment forever. I'm referring, of course, to artists like Tomie DePaola, Theodore Geisel, Ezra Jack Keats and Jim Henson--all of whom were breaking ground for an entire generation of creative people who were just coming into being. But for me, the king of these was Maurice Sendak. There is so much about his work that has influenced and inspired me over the years--his sentimentality, his line, his theatrical composition--but most of all, his unflinching courage to be truthful in his work. More than anything, it's his bold, naked integrity that inspires me most. We can only work hard and hope to live up to the legacy he has left behind.
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