A long time ago when I was a child, Maurice Sendak came to sign books at the University of Connecticut's bookstore, the Co-op. Desperately gripping my copy of Where the Wild Things Are, I didn't notice that I was the only kid in a very long line of college students. Maurice Sendak noriced, however, and when it was my turn he said this to me:
"Because you're the youngest person here, I'm going to tell you a secret. I'm going to sign your book with the word BOO! to remind you that the next book I'm writing is a *scary* book, one about a girl whose baby brother is stolen away by goblins. And I'm only telling *you* that today, so you remember that."
The book was Outside Over There, of course.
Years later when I saw what was soon to become my young adulthood favorite movie, Labyrinth, I was once again happily reminded of my encounter with Mr. Sendak.
(for those of you who--foolishly--have never seen this movie, it is about a girl whose baby brother is stolen away by goblins. Jim Henson credits Maurice Sendak at the end of the movie, and the book Outside Over There appears in the main character's room).
That copy of Where the Wild Things Are has traveled with me to every place I have ever moved to. I bought a new copy for my children--mine is falling apart--but take down the old one and show it to them, and tell them the story of how I met the man who made the Wild Things, and what a wonderful man he was.