Friday, June 09, 2006 at 6:45 AM
If I made a short list of the greatest children’s books, two of those titles would have to be Maurice Sendak’s marvelous Where the Wild Things Are and In the Night Kitchen. These are classics from my own childhood that I now read to my children almost every night. Not long ago, one of my "dad friends," who (like me) has a young son, was sharing notes with me about what exactly Mr. Sendak was getting at with those Oliver Hardy bakers in In the Night Kitchen. Another guy came over to ask us the name of the book we were talking about. It turns out he was a dad-to-be: his wife was pregnant with their first child. He went out and bought the book the next day.
With this weekend bringing Mr. Sendak's 78th birthday, it's satisfying to know we're helping people discover his masterpieces even beyond the tried and true parent-to-parent word-of-mouth network. Both of these Sendak classics, along with a very cool book containing letters between Sendak and his editor, are discoverable in Google Book Search.