I was saddened to hear about the passing of Maurice Sendak this morning. As a kid, Where the Wild Things Are was a major part of my life. When I wasn’t reading it, I was flipping through the pages and studying the illustrations, wishing I had monster friends. Everyone always draws comparisons between The Oz Chronicles and The Wizard of Oz, and there is no denying there are similarities. Some people even believe that my series is an homage to Frank Baum’s books. It’s a logical conclusion to make, but it’s not entirely accurate. I was clearly influenced by The Wizard of Oz, but not consciously. The idea of a boy befriending beasts (gorillas and Keepers) and fighting others (Destroyers) in an imaginary world was clearly ripped off from Mr. Sendak. When I wrote The Takers, I would often draw on memories of Where the Wild Things Are.
Rest in Peace Maruice Sendak and thanks for the source material!