Happy Birthday, Harold! Still skipping along on the children's-book beat, NPR's Jennifer Ludden talks to none other than Maurice Sendak about Crockett Johnson's classic, which is 50 years old. (Current Amazon sales rank, #855, up from 1470! )
Sendak illustrated the new re-issue of Ruth Krauss's Bears; you can read a good piece about it (via Kentucky.Com and the Miami Herald). The late Ruth Krauss was married to Crockett Johnson, and she collaborated on a number of books with Sendak. (I'm going to jump on the opportunity to mention the Sendak retrospective at the Jewish Museum, in New York, again, too.) Furthermore, as evidence that the 76-year-old Sendak is everywhere this spring, often paying homage to his friends Krauss and Johnson, he wrote about the pair and their book The Carrot Seed in the March/April issue of Horn Book, the esteemed children's literature journal. Sendak began,
There is no doubt in my mind that The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss and Crockett Johnson was a remarkable breakthrough book. The terrible war ended in 1945 and this harmless-looking book was published at the same time — harmless-looking perhaps, but revolutionary in content.