If you ventured to Google on June 10 (and, since you’re currently on the Internet, the odds are good), you saw a Google Doodle celebrating the birthday of Maurice Sendak, the celebrated children’s book author who passed away last year. Meanwhile, on YouTube, a PBS Digital Studios channel gave the Where The Wild Things Are muse its own unique tribute. Blank on Blank has released an episode where Sendak talks about what it means to be a kid and explains how children tackle adversity.
Blank on Blank is the work of an independent nonprofit. Every two weeks, an old, somewhat obscure interview is brought to light, accompanied by a simple animation and some moody music. For the Sendak animation, Blank on Blank dug up a 2009 interview from Newsweek featuring the author’s candid storytelling style.
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The beauty of Blank on Blank is the way it brings departed figures to life. Other PBS Digital Studios channels focus on the now: current ideas, current facts, current tech. But Blank on Blank is more concerned with the past. It goes into the archives of Sendak and Jim Morrison and David Foster Wallace and helps us understand them in a new light. The result is beautiful, and, in Sendak’s case, a fitting present for a birthday boy who would’ve loved such imaginative presentation.