An elementary school in Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood is renaming itself after late children’s author Maurice Sendak.
PS 118 announced February 8 that it will now be called the Maurice Sendak Community School, after the author of “Where the Wild Things Are,” “In the Night Kitchen” and “Chicken Soup With Rice,” among other classics. “We are thrilled to honor a great Brooklyn native and in doing so, we hope to inspire our children to find their own creative expression,” the school stated on its website.
The Brooklyn school is now the second to be named after Sendak, according the Daily News. In 2005 a school in North Hollywood, Calif., was named the Maurice Sendak Elementary School.
Maurice Sendak, author of beloved children’s books such as “Where the Wild Things Are” and “In the Night Kitchen,” died May 8 at age 83 of complications from a stroke.
Sendak, who was born in Brooklyn to Jewish immigrants from Poland, broke the conventions of children’s literature with his dark and psychologically acute early books. “Where the Wild Things Are” was published to acclaim and controversy in 1963, and received the Caldecott Medal in 1964. In 1966 Sendak published an illustrated version of Isaac Bashevis Singer’s children’s story “Zlateh the Goat,” which received the Newbery Medal.
Though Sendak produced few children’s books since “Outside Over There,” which was published in 1981, his latest work, titled “Bumble-Ardy,” came out in September 2011. According to The New York Times, a posthumous book titled “My Brother’s Book,” inspired by Sendak’s late brother Jack, is set to be published in February 2013.
In recent years Sendak enjoyed a renewed popularity that included a 2009 film version of “Where the Wild Things Are,” directed by Spike Jonze, and exhibits of his work at museums such as the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco and Philadelphia’s Rosenbach Museum and Library. He also curated an exhibit of Hanukkah lamps at The Jewish Museum in New York and in January made an appearance on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report.
“Where the Wild Things Are” writer Maurice Sendak turns out to be the cranky Jewish grandfather fans of “The Colbert Report” wish they had.
The 83-year-old author has been featured the past two nights on the Comedy Central series, in an interview producers apparently liked so much they stretched it across multiple episodes. Shot at the artist’s home, the interview features Sendak being characteristically feisty and sharp-tongued, describing GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich as an “idiot,” and later calling his interviewer the same name. (“That is an interesting point of view,” Sendak at one point says, responding to a comment by Colbert, “but not interesting to me particularly.”)
Colbert’s questions touched briefly on the gay element of Sendak’s identity, but not on his Jewish background — at least not directly. Introducing Sendak’s latest book, “Bumble-Ardy,” Colbert at one point tells viewers, “I highly recommend the book — unless you are Jewish. You can’t read books about pork” — a reference to the pink pig on the cover. “Stick with ‘The Velveteen Rabbi.’ “
Watch Stephen Colbert’s interview with Maurice Sendak:
Maurice Sendak is best known as a writer and illustrator of children’s books, most famously, “Where the Wild Things Are,” and more recently, “Bumble-Ardy,” published this year. Sendak, who was born to Polish Jewish immigrants in Brooklyn and lost much of his family in the Holocaust, also illustrated Isaac Bashevis Singer’s children’s story “Zlateh the Goat,” which received the Newbery Award, and “In Grandpa’s House,” written by his father, Philip Sendak. Needless to say, his Jewish roots run deep.
Now, Sendak has giving those feelings a different kind of expression by curating The Jewish Museum’s annual exhibit of Hanukkah Lamps, or Hanukkiot, selected from the museum’s extensive collection. Many of Sendak’s choices originate in Eastern Europe and recall the family that he lost there during the Holocaust. “I stayed away from everything elaborate. I kept looking for very plain, square ones, very severe looking,” he said. “Their very simplicity reminded me of the Holocaust. And I thought it was inappropriate for me to be thinking of elaboration.” The exhibit, on view until January 29, also includes original drawings from Sendak’s collaboration with Singer and with his father.
View a slideshow of Hanukkah lamps selected by Maurice Sendak:
A new social networking site is based in the Proust Questionnaire.
Joel Schalit evaluates Berlin’s susceptibility to an Oslo-type attack.
Justin Bartha, who is currently starring in Zach Braff’s play “All New People,” will next appear in Jesse Eisenberg’s “Asuncion” at New York’s Cherry Lane Theater. The two actors last worked together in “Holy Rollers,” a film about Hasidic ecstasy smugglers.
The Freedom Theatre in Jenin, formerly led by slain actor Juliano Mer Khamis, was raided Tuesday night by Israeli Special Forces. Two people were detained.
Jewcy reviews the work of Bonnie Lucas, “another artist toiling forever as art teacher with a mature body of thirty years work in her fifth floor walk-up.”
What better place than Israel for an adult archeology camp?
But are Jewish studies on decline in the country’s universities?
Talmud study is catching on in South Korea.
Happy 80th birthday, Leonard Nimoy!
The finalists for the 2011 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature have been announced.
Philadelphia’s Rosenbach Museum and Library has become home to Maurice Sendak’s only mural.
Jonah Lehrer retrieves Thorstein Veblen’s forgotten essay on why Jews become intellectuals.
An Iranian grandmaster claims to have beaten an Israeli chess record after playing 614 people simultaneously in Tehran.
A new book fails to exonerate Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.
What accounts for the enduring fame of Walter Benjamin?
And why isn’t Moses Mendelssohn similarly remembered?
You've successfully signed up!
Thank you for subscribing.
Please provide the following optional information to enable us to serve you better.
The Forward will not sell or share your personal information with any other party.
Thank you for signing up.Close