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.
Nindiri, a 7-year-old jaguar, proudly
carried her little bundle into her den to
meet the public at the San Diego…
Rescuers are using drones to locate and
help some of the Texas city’s estimated one million homeless dogs.
Before you buy chicks or ducklings for
your kids' Easter baskets, make sure you
know what you're getting yourself…
Dr. Marty Becker knows from experience
that it's hard to adjust to children leaving
home and taking family pets…
It’s more than just cute when your kitty
naps in a box — it’s an instinctive
behavior that’s hardwired in her…
The talented Sporting Group dogs will
impress you with their hunting skills and
win you over with their…
Our expert explains why the old formula
that one year of a dog's life equals seven
years of human life isn’t…
Want to find out how well your cat or dog is digesting his food? Well, our vet says the proof is in your pet's poop.
The active and playful Devon Rex’s high cheekbones and slender build make her look like a top feline model.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.