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Author Maurice Sendak dies at 83

Very sad news from the book world today, American children’s book author and illustrator Maurice Sendak has died at the age of  83. He is best known for Where the Wild Things Are, published in 1963 and a bedtime reading favorite ever since. The BBC reports that the book has sold 19 million copies.

The book, about Max and his vivid imagination, won a Caldecott Medal for best children’s book in 1964. Where the Wild Things Are has become an iconic picture book over the years and was turned into a Spike Jonze movie in 2009.

Born in 1928 and raised in New York, Sendak became an illustrator  in 1951 when he worked on Wonderful Farm by Marcel Ayme. He started writing his own books later in the decade.

Sendak’s literary legacy also includes titles like In the Night Kitchen, Outside Over There, Higglety Pigglety Pop!The Nutshell Library and his final book, Bumble-Ardy, from 2011.

Another picture book, My Brother’s Book – a poem written and illustrated by Sendak about his late brother, Jack – is due to be published in early 2013.

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