When I saw that Maurice Sendak had passed earlier this week, I was mostly in awe. You see, Where the Wild Things Are is such a timeless children’s story–it didn’t occur to me that its creator was growing elderly since timeless things have a way of making finite things seem infinite.
I’ve collected children’s books since I was really young. I pull them out once in a while, to remind myself of what it was like to be a kid. Because if you look at children’s books, you’ll remember that they’re what made our world seem magical before we knew the world at all. So I go back to them to dislodge, inspire, and remind my stuffy adult self that there is still magic in the world. Whenever I look through them, I feel inspired. By the pictures, by the words, and by the stories that are told. And those stories help me become a kid again so I can create from the heart without inhibition.
I recently reread Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince). If you don’t know this book, you should read it. It’s considered a children’s story but I think it’s mostly a novella written to remind adults to look beyond the obvious and see magic in the world. So I keep looking for it. And remind myself that there is more to life than meets the eye. And that something as ordinary as a box can contain a sheep or anything else that I conjure up. (Read the story and you’ll get this.)
So go look at your favorite children’s books and relish them like you were five again. If you won’t do it for yourself, do it to honor Maurice.