Maurice Sendak, author of the legendary children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are” has passed away today at the age of 83. According to the New York Times, the cause of death was due to complications from a recent stroke. To revisit Sendak’s incredible story we have included the famous Maurice Sendak and Stephen Colbert interview.

The book was most recently adapted for film by Spike Jonze in 2009 to mixed reviews, but near universal anticipation before it came out from both adults and young people as the story has transcended generations since it’s initial release in 1963 and has proved an integral part of the childhood of many since.

The story is famous for its unique artwork and darker storyline – it abandoned the status quo of children’s literature and expanded the boundaries of the genre itself while sparking new imaginative ways to tackling literature.

As recently as January, Sendak appeared on “The Colbert Report” and talked about the state of children’s literature as it is today. Here is the video:

It’s very interesting to note that Sendak doesn’t consider himself a children’s author. It is easy to categorize him as such because of the colorful nature of his stories, the fantastical ideas and brevity of his tales, though thematically, his stories, specifically “Where the Wild Things Are” were not childish, but human.

While he may have been lumped unfairly into a specific genre, his work is genuinely difficult to categorically define.

Colbert asked what he thought of the current state of children’s literature.

“Abysmal,” he responded. Moving on then!

So, Sendak was a bit of a curmudgeon, eh? I must say, I had no idea. Either way, I’m entirely pleased with this revelation. His stories weren’t sunshine and lollipops. They dealt with insecurities and escape. One who knows those feelings isn’t happy al the time.

Because the story is remember so much for its visuals, here is a look back at some of the artwork from the book: