Live your life. Live your life. Live your life. That quote is from Maurice Sendak’s last interview on NPR. We’re so sad that the great curmudgeon, writer, and artist has passed away, but his books will live on in our hearts–and bookshelves–forever. In fact, we’ve all been reminiscing about our favorite books, pages, illustrations or lines from the brilliant author/illustrator.

Here are our very favorites that Sendak both wrote and illustrated. We fondly remember them all today.

where the wild things are

Where the Wild Things Are
Sendak’s greatest masterpiece, every single page of this
Caldecott-winner comes to life before you’ve even read a word. And what
words they are. We should all have more wild rumpuses in our lives, more
wild things–and of course, more imagination.

in the night kitchen

In The Night Kitchen
always had a soft spot (no pun intended) for this book, what with its
fantastical journey of little naked Mickey floating away into the
magical night kitchen where 3 Oliver Hardy look-alikes bake him into a

pierre by maurice sendak

The Nutshell Library
The four short stories in the series include Alligators All Around, Chicken Soup with Rice, One Was Johnny, and Pierre: A cautionary tale. You can buy each book individually, but you won’t regret buying them together as a collection.

really rosie

While you’re in full Sendak mode, be sure to download the Really Rosie Soundtrack by Carole King from the 1975 musical based on Sendak’s writings. Her beautiful voice brings to life classics like Really Rosie (the person every tween girl wants to be–or thinks she is), Chicken Soup with Rice, and Alligators All Around to life so perfectly, I’ve had most of them stuck in my head for decades now.

trying not to be sad today. Instead, I’m playing in my head, over and
over, “Happy once, Happy twice. Happy chicken soup with rice.” Thanks
for everything Mr. Sendak. You left the world a better place for
children. –Liz

All these titles are available from our affiliate Amazon, or your local indie bookshop.

Do you have a favorite Sendak book, illustration, or character? We’d love to hear it.

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