Spotlight on: Maurice Sendak

We were saddened to learn of the passing of prolific children’s author and illustrator Maurice Sendak yesterday. Sendak was born in 1928 in Brooklyn New York to Polish-Jewish immigrants. His early life was somewhat traumatic as his family came to grips with the death of many of his relatives in Europe during the Holocaust.

After seeing  Disney’s Fantasia as a child he knew he wished to be an illustrator, his first illustrations being published in 1947. The 1950’s were spent illustrating numorous children’s books and then in the 60’s he became a household name after writing and illustrating the classic, Where the Wild things Are. Sendak wrote around 20 stories and illustrated over 50. He died from a stroke on May 8.

Where the Wild Things Are Competition

To tie in with today’s release of the Where the Wild Things Are film, the Library is running a competition where people have the chance to win a double pass!

For those unfamiliar with the story, the basic premise is about youngster Max, who after causing mischief around the house gets sent to his room without supper and imagines tha he sails away to the land of the Wild Things where he becomes king.

 To enter the competition, all you need to do is grab an entry form and tell us what mischief you got up to when you were around Max’s age, and also who wrote the book Where the Wild Things Are. Entries close on Wednesday December 16 and winners will be drawn the next day. Winners will be notified by phone.

The book’s always better… or is it?

Have you noticed how many popular novels are being made into films this year? Angels and Demons, based on Dan Brown’s popular Robert Langdon series started the year off with a blockbuster film from a bestseller book.  Oddly enough the book is set prior to the events is The Da Vinci Code, but the film is made as a sequel. 

If thrillers weren’t your thing, ever popular Jodi Picoult had her first novel to film treatment with My Sister’s Keeper just a few months back.  Shortly after, Sophie Kinsella’s Confessions of a Shopaholic also came to the screen starring Australia’s Isla Fisher. This film was a reasonable box office success, but panned by the critics. Audrey Niffennegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife has just been released starring another Aussie, Eric Bana, and whilst we are on the Aussie theme, Maurice Sendak’s timeless children’s classic, Where the Wild Things Are which was filmed in and around Melbourne will be released next month. Most of this feature was actually filmed in 2005 but has been in what they call ‘development hell’ until this year.

If Graphic Novels are your thing, the very popular Will Eisner series The Spirit was released as a film this year, but has unfortunately been tagged one of worst films of 2009.

But wait there’s more!

Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol has had a CGI re-imagining, released just in time for Christmas and to rave reviews. But possibly the most highly anticipated book-to-film event this year is the Twilight sequel, New Moon which was released today across Australia!

There’s plenty I’ve missed, tell us what others you have enjoyed this year or are looking forward to being released in 2010?

Which do you think was better, the book or the film? If you haven’t yet read the book, come to the library, grab a copy and make up your own mind which was better.

Where the Wild Things Are… on the big screen!

where_the_wild_things_areMaurice Sendak’s timeless children’s book Where the Wild Things Are finally makes it to the big screen with a live action film for release on October 16! Following the imaginative exploits of Max, the naughty child sent to bed without supper, whose bedroom grows into a jungle and who sets sail to the land where the Wild Things are. He becomes king of the Wild Things, yet yearns for home, eventually sailing back to his bedroom in time for supper after all. Check out the film trailer here.