Toronto Public Library Presents Maurice Sendak: 50 Years, 50 Works, 50 Reasons

December 16, 2015 | Media Relations

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An exhibition of original works of art by Maurice Sendak on view at the Toronto Reference Library’s TD Gallery

Where the Wild Things Are

The story of a disobedient boy with a fierce imagination, Where the Wild Things Are is one of the most beloved children’s books of all time. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of its publication, Toronto Public Library presents a retrospective exhibition of original artwork by the book’s revered author and illustrator, Maurice Sendak.

See more than 50 works spanning Sendak’s acclaimed career, including sketches, illustrations and works on paper. The works on display highlight Sendak’s range as an artist – from illustrations from Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen, Little Bear and other popular works, to set and costume designs, animation cels, posters, and sketches for fans and close friends. The exhibition provides a broad survey of Sendak’s acclaimed and diverse career, from children’s literature, to film, to Broadway and opera.

This exhibition also features original artwork and signed prints from the Toronto Public Library’s Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books.

PLUS - Kids will be able to come aboard a reconstruction of Max's boat, take a picture, and imagine the journey to where the wild things are. Make a plasticine Wild Thing, reconnect with some of your favourite Sendak books, and enjoy other fun activities for the whole family! 

Generously sponsored by TD Bank Group, Maurice Sendak: 50 Years, 50 Works, 50 Reasons is the latest exhibit at the library’s TD Gallery, located on the main floor of the Toronto Reference Library. The show opens Saturday, December 19, 2015 at 9 a.m. and runs until Sunday, January 31, 2016. 

Maurice Sendak: 50 Years, 50 Works, 50 Reasons exhibition tour is managed by Opar Media, LLC. Special thanks to the lenders of the exhibition and to AFANYC for their support. Additional support provided by the Friends of the Osborne Collection.

What:  Maurice Sendak: 50 Years, 50 Works, 50 Reasons

When:  Saturday, December 19, 2015 to Sunday, January 31, 2016 

Where: TD Gallery, Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street – Main Level

Hours: Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

           Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

           Sunday, 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. 

Cost:   Exhibition and programs are FREE                            


Related Programming:

Guided Tours of Sendak 50

Sendak Preschool Time

Stories and songs inspired by the work of Maurice Sendak.                                                                         

Make a Wild Thing with Barbara Reid!

Make a plasticine “Wild Thing” with award-winning children's author and illustrator Barbara Reid. For ages 6 and up.  Registration required. Free tickets at

Film Screening: Where the Wild Things Are

Free screening of the 2009 film adaptation of Maurice Sendak's classic children's story. Dir. Spike Jonze, 101 min. Rated: PG

“Let the Wild Rumpus Start!”

Want even more Sendak? Be sure to visit Let the Wild Rumpus Start! Celebrating Maurice Sendak, a complementary exhibit on display at the Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books at the Lillian H. Smith branch showcasing Sendak’s work and the work of artists and innovators who inspired him.


About Maurice Sendak (1928-2012)

Maurice Sendak was born in Brooklyn in 1928, the third child of Polish-Jewish immigrant parents.

Aside from a few night classes in art after graduating high school, Sendak is a largely self-taught artist. Throughout his career, he has taken characters, stories, and inspirations from among his own neighbors, family, pop culture, historical sources, and long-held childhood memories.

Maurice Sendak illustrated more than a hundred picture books over the course of his 60-year career. He has won numerous awards as both an artist and illustrator, including a Caldecott Award, a Newbery Medal, the international Hans Christian Andersen Award, a National Book Award, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, and a National Medal of Arts. His books have been translated into dozens of languages and are enjoyed all over the world.


About the TD Gallery in the Toronto Reference Library

A relaxed, contemporary exhibit space at the heart of the city, the TD Gallery at the Toronto Reference Library is a space for Torontonians and visitors alike to connect with our collective cultural memory. Stories are told and histories explored through rare and unique items – including art, manuscripts, sculpture, books and artifacts – curated from more than four million pieces collected by the library since 1884. Many exhibits also feature complementary contributions from cultural and community partners.

About TD Bank Group

TD Bank Group invests in communities in order to effect positive change in the places where it operates and where its clients and employees live and work. In 2014, TD donated over $82 million to support community organizations in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. In Canada, TD focuses on education and financial literacy, creating opportunities for young people and the environment. For more information, please visit

About Toronto Public Library

Toronto Public Library is one of the world's busiest urban public library systems. Every year, 18 million people visit our branches in neighbourhoods across the city and borrow more than 32 million items. To learn more about Toronto Public Library, visit our website at or call Answerline at 416-393-7131. To get the most current updates on what's happening at the library, follow us on Twitter @torontolibrary.



Media Contact/Media Image Reproduction:

Sumaiya Ahmed