There’s going to be a wild rumpus in heaven tonight. Maurice Sendak, beloved author and illustrator of such children’s classics as ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ and the controversial ‘In the Night Kitchen,’ passed away in Danbury, Conn. following complications from a recent stroke. He was 83.

Sendak started publishing stories in the 1950s, reaching a creative peak with ‘Wild Things.’ The 1963 story about an imaginative and rambunctious child’s journey to an imaginary land recently inspired a feature-film adaptation by director Spike Jonze. But Sendak was recognized in the literary community for circumventing the traditional molds of children’s book heroes. As the New York Times points out, Sendak’s characters often are “headstrong, bossy, even obnoxious,” while his plots are “fraught with rupture.”

HarperCollins recently released a new picture book by Sendak titled ‘Bumble-Ardy.’ The book spent five weeks on the NY Times best-seller’s list.

The author’s final book, ‘My Brother’s Book,’ is scheduled to be published in February and contain a poem penned an illustrated by the late author and dedicated to his late brother, Jack.

Looking for a way to honor Sendak today? Grab either Jonze’s ‘Wild Things’ adaptation or – even better – the touching documentary the director contributed to titled ‘Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Maurice Sendak' which you can watch online now.

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