Years ago, I directed a large summer arts camp for kids ages 3 to 10, the theme of which was “Let the Rumpus Begin!” For the program finale we performed a play based on Where the Wild things Are. As costumes, each child–75 of them–had construction paper triangle claws taped to their finger and toe nails. We also taped larger construction paper triangles to the tips of their ears and made Styrofoam fangs. Oh, boy! When it came time for those wild things to roar their terrible roars and gnash their terrible teeth the sound was deafening! Their roars were so wonderful, we had to repeat them a time or two.
This fond memory has been buried in the folds of my heart for well over 30 years now. I can still see those kids tilting back their heads and letting their inner wild thing rip! What a grand time we had together; those kooky kids, the art program staff, and I. All centered around a timeless piece of children's literature created by a master. Thank you, Maurice Sendak. You've left a legacy of joy that will last forever.