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If Sendak’s books could talk, what would they say?

The Rosenbach Museum & Library celebrates the creative vision and innovation of Maurice Sendak in their exhibition Sendak in the ’60s. As part of it, we took three of his most popular and inspiration children’s books and turned them into interactive, hands-on exhibits.

A collection of children's books on a black background.
A girl is reading a book with cartoon characters.

Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen (we’re especially fond of that one, as you might expect), and the 4 mini-books nested inside The Nutshell Library were some of Sendak's break-through works of the 1960s. As visitors page through them, Patrick Rodgers, the Curator of the Maurice Sendak Collection, narrates the stories behind the creation of each book.

Maurice Sendak

Most important to our design solution was keeping as close to the authentic experience of reading a classic children’s book as possible. It should feel natural with the audio augmenting the experience in a valuable way. Miniature audio units embedded within specially bound books make it possible to simultaneously experience both audio and visual components of these beloved works. This elegant design maintains the tactile nature of the children’s book, requires a minimal footprint, and appeals to both children and adults alike — allowing all museum-goers to get lost in a good book.

The production process, including brainstorming, prototyping, and production.