When Outspoken Atheist and Artist of "Where the Wild Things Are" Illustrated the Cover of an LDS Church Magazine


Why would an outspoken atheist and famous author illustrate the cover of an LDS magazine? The mystery, and answer, is quite fascinating.

Maurice Sendak, the writer and illustrator of “Where the Wild Things Are,” did the cover artwork of the 1969 November issue of what was then called The Children’s Friend, a magazine for young readers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Mackenzi Lee was an intern at the children’s magazine when, while rummaging through archives of past issues one afternoon, she happened to recognize the artist’s hand on one of the covers.

“That looks a lot like Maurice Sendak art,” she wrote in a 2013 blog post that was recently re-published by Dawning of a Brighter Day. When she opened the front cover and discovered Sendak’s name, she was elated.

There was one thing, though, that puzzled Lee — why would Sendak, a “Caldecott-winning artist and outspoken atheist” — do the cover art for an LDS magazine?

Lead image from Dawning of a Brighter Day
Stay in the loop!
Enter your email to receive updates on our LDS Living content