Maurice Sendak, author of ’Where the Wild Things Are’ has died

"Where the Wild Things Are’ author leaves a legacy in children’s literature
In this Tuesday, Sept. 6 2011 photo, children’s book author Maurice Sendak is photographed doing an interview at his home in Ridgefield, Conn. Sendak is the author of the popular children’s book "Where the Wild Things Are." (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Maurice Sendak, the widely acclaimed and influential author and illustrator who introduced a not-so-rosy view of life to children’s literature died on Tuesday morning in Danbury, Conn.

Among Sendak’s most famous works is Where the Wild Things Are. According to the New York Times, Sendak died from complications after a recent stroke. He was 83.

From the New York Times:

Mr. Sendak’s work was the subject of critical studies and major exhibitions; in the second half of his career, he was also renowned as a designer of theatrical sets. His art graced the writing of other eminent authors for children and adults, including Hans Christian Andersen, Leo Tolstoy, Herman Melville, William Blake and Isaac Bashevis Singer.

In book after book, Mr. Sendak upended the staid, centuries-old tradition of American children’s literature, in which young heroes and heroines were typically well scrubbed and even better behaved; nothing really bad ever happened for very long; and everything was tied up at the end in a neat, moralistic bow.