Click here to learn more.
Revered children’s book author Maurice Sendak passed away on May 8 at age 83, of complications from a recent stroke. While he is best known for the children's classic Where the Wild Things Are, he also wrote and illustrated several books about animals, including Some Swell Pup or Are You Sure You Want a Dog?, Ten Little Rabbits: A Counting Book with Mino the Magician, and the Little Bear stories. In fact, the inspiration for Sendak's 1967 book, Higglety Pigglety Pop! Or There Must Be More to Life was his own dog, a Sealyham Terrier named Jennie.
If you haven't read Higglety Pigglety Pop!, the story is this: Jennie, who thinks that there must be more to life than having everything — including a master who loves her — decides to run away and embark on a journey to satisfy her discontent. In Sendak's beautifully illustrated tale, Jennie encounters many odd animals, including a pig wearing an advertising board and a cat driving a milk truck.
According to the L.A. Times, of all the books Sendak wrote, he claimed that Higglety Pigglety was his favorite.
Jennie wasn’t the only dog who inspired Sendak’s writing. When he adopted a German Shepherd several years later, the pup already came with a name, Max, which just happens to be the name of the precocious protagonist in Where the Wild Things Are. (That book also includes a dog, a West Highland Terrier, who is seen fleeing from the mischievous Max.)
Sendak’s most recent dog, Melville, also a German Shepherd, is named after one of his literary idols, Herman Melville. In 2008, The New York Times reported that Sendak told an audience at the 92nd Street Y, “I hate people.” Instead, he said, he preferred the company of dogs like Melville.
Sendak will be missed by wild — and tame — things all around the world.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank you for subscribing to Petwire. Look for the latest newsletter each Wednesday.
A pair of eagles, who made headlines
for protecting their snow-covered eggs,
welcomed two eaglets.
A 10-month-old cat turned himself in at
the New York Police Department's 34th
precinct in the Bronx this week.
Going out of town with your cat or dog?
Here’s our checklist for accommodations,
ID, carriers, medications and much…
For those of you who aren't feline fans,
we bet we can convince you that they are
fantastic pets who deserve your…
Sharing your bed with your cat or dog is a
nice way to bond, but is it a good idea?
Our expert has the answer.
How can you tell which pet food is best for your cat or dog? Learning how to decipher the label is a great place to…
In his home country of Thailand, the intelligent and attention-loving Korat is a living symbol of luck and prosperity.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.