By Hal Marcovitz
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Extra info for Maurice Sendak (Who Wrote That?)
The pictures, too, become so supple that there’s an interchangeability between them and the words; they each tell two stories at the same time. The peculiar gift in being an illustrator is that one has an odd affinity for words—it’s natural to interpret them, like a composer who thinks music while reading poetry. The illustrator’s first job is to comprehend deeply the nature of his text, then to give life to that comprehension in his own medium, the picture. I like to think of myself as setting words to pictures.
Black ink accentuates the features of the characters. In the book, The Art of Maurice Sendak, author Selma G. Lanes commented that the pages featuring the wild rumpus . . probably comprise the best-thumbed pages in contemporary children’s literature. In the first, Max and four large wild things dance and bay at the moon. ” Inexplicably, a full moon now shines over their merrymaking, but at this enchanted moment no reader will quibble with the artist’s lunar license. The second spread—which shifts to morning light—shows Max and his companions swinging companionably, like monkeys, from the familiar trees.
21 Unlike working on Aymé’s book, Sendak worked closely with Krauss to produce the illustrations for A Hole is to Dig. He traveled often to Krauss’s home in Connecticut, where the author and illustrator spent much time discussing the images that would go on each page. Together, they decided that since the book recalled simple times when simple definitions could sum up matters of enormous complexity, the book should have an old-fashioned, 19th-century feel to it. And so Sendak produced pen and ink drawings on brown-tinted paper.
Maurice Sendak (Who Wrote That?) by Hal Marcovitz