I was hoping to wake up this morning and find that yesterday’s news about Sendak’s passing was only a dream.
Not surprisingly, some wonderful tributes have been written. Before I get to the beautiful and intriguing image above, I’ll note that below (at the bottom of this post) I share a few worthwhile tributes and links related to Sendak’s death — other than the three I mentioned yesterday morning at the New York Times, the Rosenbach Museum & Library, and Roger Sutton’s blog. (Roger’s post has been updated with a beautiful photo.)
Back to the image above (pictured right is a detail of it) … One of my favorite things about blogging about picture books—if not my very favorite—is having the opportunity to chat with picture book creators. Sure, dialogue happens here at 7-Imp, but off-blog it happens, too — often before books get released. Today’s featured illustrator, Aaron Becker, is a case-in-point. And I happen to know Aaron was very inspired by Sendak, so as we mourn the loss of the master, we also look ahead to those whose work has been shaped by the breath of Sendak’s creative vision and his honesty.
Aaron will visit 7-Imp later. His debut picture book won’t be released till next year (Candlewick), but he and I have chatted a bit, and once I saw his site at storybreathing.com, I fell for his artwork. Don’t you agree, dear readers? I think he is one to keep an eye on. The image above is a sneak-peek at that upcoming picture book, which will be wordless, called Journey. It was rendered in ink, watercolor, and gouache.
Aaron is also a film designer and, he tells me, is slowly making the transition to doing children’s books full-time. I very much look forward to discovering the story swirling around that magical image. Is it Fall 2013 yet? I am eager to see this book.
At this link, you can see even more of Aaron’s artwork. Enjoy.
As promised, some Sendak tributes/links, in no particular order (and hardly comprehensive):
- Vicky Smith’s tribute over at Kirkus.
- Philip Nel’s touching post at Nine Kinds of Pie, which itself includes a round-up of links.
- Author/illustrator Paul Schmid’s post on the Sendak Fellowship. (I love how Paul writes in a comment over there: “Many of the tributes today mentioned what was most shocking and valued about Maurice was his honesty about childhood. Is that so rare? Something to think about.”)
- Author/illustrator Sergio Ruzzier’s post on the same.
- The Horn Book’s round-up of Sendak coverage/interviews.
- The Guardian’s obituary.
- Farida Dowler’s thoughts at Saints and Spinners.
- My co-authors: Betsy Bird’s thoughts at A Fuse #8 Production and Peter D. Sieruta on “how it all began.”
- Laurel Snyder’s appreciation at The Jewish Daily Forward.
- Terry Gross’ coverage at NPR.
… And so many more, I’m sure, that I’m missing. Again, be sure to visit Philip Nel’s post for even more links.
The illustration in this post is © 2011 by Aaron Becker and used with permission.