AFTER MAURICE SENDAK (American, 1928-2012)
Crocodile costume (head, body suit, gloves and shoe cover), painted Elastane, cotton fabric over padded form and commercial helmet; 93" h; Provenance: New York City Opera
Sale Price: $3,750
Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Wear commensurate with theatrical use
Science tip: You can distinguish an alligator from a crocodile by noting whether the animal sees you later, or in a while. Maurice Sendak was a Caldecott award-winning children's book author and illustrator. The Brooklyn native illustrated more than 80 books by other authors before writing one himself: in 1963 he turned the children's book world upside down with his first masterpiece, Where the Wild Things Are. Sendak's dark, moody illustrations were a shocking contrast to the comparatively light and happy fare typically found in children's books of the time. The main character, Max, like many of Sendak's protagonists, acted like a real child, not some idealized version of youth. During his long career, Sendak wrote and illustrated more than 50 books, including Where the Wild Things Are (1963), In the Night Kitchen (1970) and Outside over There (1981). Sendak designed sets and costumes for stage versions of his books, and in the early 1980s created the sets for several operas, including Mozart's The Magic Flute at the Houston Grand Opera. He also collaborated with Carole King on the musical Really Rosie, producing the book, lyrics, and artwork.