Maurice Sendak, author and illustrator of the 1963 children’s book Where the Wild Things Are, is back in the spotlight as his classic, imaginative illustrations transform from picture book to picture show. The 2009 film version, directed by Spike Jonze, is an obvious manifestation of how visuals affect the mind—considering the original story falls short of a mere 350 words.
During a recent interview for a New York Times article, writer Saki Knafo quotes Jonze’s own memories of the children’s book. “ ‘It’s amazing how few words there are but how strong the sentences are,’ he said, slowly turning the pages. ‘You can just stare at the drawings and take in all the detail.’ ”
Sendak has written over 80 books and spent his career bringing life to stories with his distinctly “wild” art, including one for The Saturday Evening Post, first published in 1968—and again in 1982. Yash, the Chimney Sweep by Isaac Bashevis Singer and illustrated by Maurice Sendak is the story of a humble chimney sweeper, Yash, who fell and knocked his head. The injury left him with the ability to read the minds of the townspeople. Sendak’s drawing, depicting a community baffled by Yash’s phenomenal new craft, strikes a familiar resemblance to the illustrations from his classic children’s book. See for yourself.