In October, 2000, Sendak was reflecting on his long and varied career in children's literature and pointed out
When I was younger, the children's book industry was small and run by strong women. In the '70s, we became too successful, started making too much money, and we started to draw men into the industry because money is manly (Grande, 2000).
Sendak, children's illustrator, writer, and producer of more than 80 books, including In the Night Kitchen and Zlateh the Goat, is a man who continues following his creative visions. His classic work, Where the Wild Things Are, is still one of the 10 best-selling children's books of all time.
His Motivation for Producing Children's Literature
The closest he has ever come to explaining the "why" of focusing on children's literature came in his speech at Princeton referred to above, when he posited that "Children are smarter than we give them credit for these days. They know more than what parents are willing to admit that they know" (Grande, 2000).
He could very well be describing himself as a child. At the Jewish Cultural Awards banquet in 1998, Sendak enthralled the audience with memories of his childhood. As he recalled, there was no escape and he "resented those faraway dead Jews. At my bar mitzvah, in 1941, I watched my parents leave those shtetl relatives who would never be bar mitzvahed" (Sendak, 1998, Online).
As a child, he grew up living with the desolate conclusion (especially for a nine-year-o