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Why Maurice Sendak's stories were so scary (+video)

Maurice Sendak's imaginative children's books, honored on Monday with a Google doodle, let children go 'where the wild things are.' 

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Fifty years ago, a little boy watched as his safe, reassuring bedroom grow into a jungle home to beasts more unruly than he was – the kinds of beings that “roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws.”

That boy was Max, the misbehaved protagonist of Maurice Sendak’s 'Where The Wild Things Are,' the 1963 children’s book that revolutionized the genre to include not just sugar and spice and all things nice but all the nightmares that children’s authors had once left to the grown-ups' world.

Maurice Sendak, who died last May, would have celebrated his 85th birthday Monday. His life’s work is being honored in a Google Doodle that sketches out his otherworldly creatures, un-childlike fangs and claws and all.

 

Mr. Sendak, whose much-lauded work was sometimes banned for its unsanitized take on the children’s genre, did not believe in childhood – at least not childhood in the way in which it is conventionally talked about, glossed in nursery-appropriate hues.

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