Maurice Sendak died last May and the world mourned. My copy of Where The Wild Things Are is one of the more worn looking books in my collection. My children have heard the story countless times. And many years ago I read it to dozens of elementary school classes. I was teaching creative dramatics then—playing a wild thing was my students' absolute favorite thing to do. (I’m sure a few of them also liked being Max.)
On July 12 another much-revered author—Else Holmelund Minarik—died. She wrote the Little Bear picture book series—illustrated by Maurice Sendak. These (along with Winnie the Pooh) are the first books I remember. My father read them to me first (I was four when the first Little Bear was published) and I was later reading others in the series (Father Bear Comes Home, Little Bear’s Visit) on my own.
I loved these books—the first in a “I Can Read” series. They’ve been called “beginner books with heart.”
Else Minarik moved from Denmark to New York City when she was four. She taught first-grade on Long Island and wrote her books in long-hand. These books have now sold more than 12 million copies. I'm sure I'm not alone—there are many readers who will always have a special place in their hearts for the creator of Little Bear. We always knew Father Bear would come home