His most famous picture book was Where the Wild Things Are. Although I should have known it as a child, I didn't really connect with it until I was old enough to babysit. I decided my nephew needed to have his own copy and so I happily presented him with it when he was around 4 years old. It was one of the bedtime stories that I didn't need any prodding to read to him. When my own son was born, this book was a necessity for our home library.
I have seen the magic of this book happen for other young children (particularly rambunctious boys) in my work as an elementary school librarian. More than once, there has been a certain Kindergarten aged boy who for some reason has not yet discovered the joy of a good book. I bide my time, and when I decide the time is right, then I read that class Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. I have witnessed the moment of transformation, like a wonderstruck epiphany where I imagine the child is thinking, 'Hey! This book is about ME!' And after that introduction to the world of great literature, that child is the first one sitting on the carpet, with eyes and ears ready for another great story.
I am privileged to have the opportunity to share the great talent of Maurice Sendak with my school community. Let the Rumpus never end!