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Where the Wild Things Are

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Max, a wild and naughty boy, is sent to bed without his supper by his exhausted mother. In his room, he imagines sailing far away to a land of Wild Things. Instead of eating him, the Wild Things make Max their king.

38 pages, Paperback

First published April 9, 1963

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About the author

Maurice Sendak

91 books1,860 followers
Maurice Bernard Sendak was an American writer and illustrator of children's literature who is best known for his book Where the Wild Things Are, published in 1963. An elementary school (from kindergarten to grade five) in North Hollywood, California is named in his honor.

Sendak was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Polish-Jewish immigrant parents, and decided to become an illustrator after viewing Walt Disney's film Fantasia at the age of twelve. His illustrations were first published in 1947 in a textbook titled Atomics for the Millions by Dr. Maxwell Leigh Eidinoff. He spent much of the 1950s working as an artist for children's books, before beginning to write his own stories.

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5 stars
518,510 (54%)
4 stars
234,854 (24%)
3 stars
131,754 (13%)
2 stars
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1 star
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 13,267 reviews
Profile Image for Nathan.
233 reviews185 followers
November 4, 2007
I have no doubt that this book damaged me, psychologically, as a small child. It is one of the earliest books I vividly remember reading aloud to myself, and I remember the first time my mother read it to me before she put me to bed. Here's the gist of the plot: A little boy named Max dresses up in a wolf costume, plays with a hammer, chases his dog with a fork, then threatens to cannibalize his mother. His mother, a master of irony, then puts him to bed with no dinner. Already, this story should start creeping you out. Then a forest starts to grow in Max's bedroom. And no, no chemicals have been ingested anywhere in the story. Though the bit about chasing the dog with the fork does imply a delusional state. Regardless, a fucking forest grows in the kids bedroom. So naturally he gets in a boat and sails off to the other side of the world, to where all these "wild things" are. And promptly subjugates everyone he sees. I'm a damn toddler, and my mom is reading me a book about a sociopath. So Max has a ball with this gang he's conquered and converted, and they howl at the moon and hop through trees. Then he gets hungry and goes home, where his mother, no doubt terrified of his new army of foreign creatures, has left his food for him, still warm. I thought, "This woman aims to do me harm." Yes, please, mother. Read me a story about my bedroom becoming a forest inhabited by monsters, then put me to bed. Think I slept that night? No, I hid out under my bed with a plastic baseball bat, a water gun and flashlight, hoping to God that if this was the night it all went wrong, I had the courage to look those monsters in the eye and pretend I wasn't wetting myself. I made a nest with a giant teddy bear and two pillows and didn't come out until the next morning, when I heard my mom coming down the hall. All day long I pretended nothing was different. But I asked her to read me Where The Wild Things Are again that night. And the next night. For months. I would ask her questions like "Do you think I will have my monsters get you if you don't make me supper?" And she'd smile, and say "Go to bed, Nathan." Spooky shit, I'm telling you. I learned to read through fear and intimidation. A subversive masterpiece.

NC
Profile Image for fleegan.
266 reviews28 followers
August 16, 2007
This book is crap, and let me tell you why. The kid is a jerk and is sent to his room without supper. He proceeds to go to some magical place where these monsters live and he bosses them around and is mean to them. Then he gets back home...having not learned that being a mean jerk is wrong...and there on his table in his room is dinner...and it's still warm. What's the lesson here exactly?
Hate the book.
Profile Image for Angie.
203 reviews34 followers
October 2, 2009
"Mom. Mom. Mo-om. Mom. MOM!"

My mom whips around. "WHAT??!"

"CanIgetabook?"

"What?"

"Can... I... get... a... book...?"

"How much is it?"

"$8.50."

"What is it?"

I brandish a copy of Where The Wild Things Are from behind my back.

"Don't you already have that?"

"Nuh-uh."

"Aren't you a little... old for a book like that?"

I pout. "But Mo-om..."

"Okay," she sighs. "Put it in the cart."

--ten minutes later--

My mom leaves the car to go put the cart back.

I look around suspiciously, making sure the coast is clear.

I lean over the back seat and start digging through the bags.

Finding the book, I crawl back into the front seat with it.

My mom returns.

"Couldn't you wait until we got home?"

"Nope." I'm turning the first pages, reading everything slowly.

My mom starts the car. "Sometimes I can't tell if I have a twenty-four- or a four-year-old daughter."

I'm still immersed in the book. "At least I no longer pull up my skirt in the grocery aisle and show everyone my Barbie underwear."

"I certainly hope not!"

I grin mischievously.
Profile Image for Lisa of Troy.
376 reviews2,791 followers
June 23, 2022
Written in 1963, this classic children’s story stands the test of time. Max is a young boy who is sent to his room without supper. He uses his imagination to create a magical land filled with wild things. Will Max stay in the land of the wild things?

The audiobook on this is very entertaining, and it was available with my Scribd subscription. This book far surpasses The Giving Tree because Max easily establishes healthy boundaries. My favorite page from the book, “But the wild things cried, “Oh please don’t go—we’ll eat you up—we love you so!” And Max said, “No!”” The next time someone is giving me grief, I am just going to say, “No!” with absolutely no explanation at all. I will let you know how that works out.

My little buddy reader and I give this “all the stars.” Translation: Five stars

This is one of James Mustich’s 1,000 Books to Read

2022 Reading Schedule
Jan Animal Farm
Feb Lord of the Flies
Mar The Da Vinci Code
Apr Of Mice and Men
May Memoirs of a Geisha
Jun Little Women
Jul The Lovely Bones
Aug Charlotte's Web
Sep Life of Pi
Oct Dracula
Nov Gone with the Wind
Dec The Secret Garden

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Profile Image for Mark Lawrence.
Author 74 books50.5k followers
Read
October 20, 2022
My copy of this book is over fifty years old. It was read to me when I was tiny and I read it to my children when they were small.

When we lived in the States I discovered the play figures in a bargain bin in a toy store and bought them for my kids too. This guy was always my favourite!



He looks as if he's up to no good.

There are several key elements to the book's power.

1. The artwork is special.

2. It shows, graphically the power of imagination.

That very night in Max's room a forest grew
and grew until his ceiling hung with vines
and the walls became the world all around


3. It undermines the fear of monsters without taking away the wonder.

4. Even when you're bad, your mother loves you.

I can't see this book going out of print. It's timeless.


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Profile Image for Swrp.
561 reviews86 followers
August 25, 2021
Brilliant!
so comforting, so wild, so much fun, makes you love life and imagination...

"The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind."


[Max in his wolf suit, scaring away the dog.]

Max has this incredible imagination... and he is also a good artist, do you see that artwork on the wall near the staircase? That was drawn by Max.

Where The Wild Things Are is about young Max. He dresses up in his wolf costume, and then scares the dog and creates a mess. Max goes to bed without having supper. He ends up in a jungle with terrible wild beasts (who roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth, and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws). But Max, as he is brave and smart, ends up intimidating the wild things and also becomes their king. Well, with time, he feels lonely and hungry, decides to leave his 'kingdom' and come back to his bedroom to find hot supper waiting for him.


[King Max and his wild subjects enjoying their wild rumpus.]
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,568 reviews55.5k followers
April 14, 2022
Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak

Where the Wild Things Are is a 1963 children's picture book by American writer and illustrator Maurice Sendak.

This story of only 338 words, focuses on a young boy, named: Max who. after dressing in his wolf costume, wreaks such havoc through his household that he is sent to bed without his supper. Max's bedroom undergoes a mysterious transformation into a jungle environment, and he winds up sailing to an island inhabited by malicious beasts known as the "Wild Things."

After successfully intimidating the creatures, Max is hailed as the king of the Wild Things and enjoys a playful romp with his subjects.

تاریخ نخستین نگرش: روز سی و یکم ماه آگوست سال2005میلادی

عنوان: سفر به سرزمین وحشی‌ها؛ نویسنده و تصویرگر: موریس سنداک؛ مترجم: طاهره آدینه پور؛ تهران، انتشارات علمی و فرهنگی؛ سال1383، در48ص، مصور، رنگی، داستانهای تخیلی برای گروه ب و ج؛ شابک9786001212413؛ موضوع: کتابهای تصویری از نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده20م

عنوان اصلی کتاب «جایی که وحشی‌ها هستند»، که با عنوان: «سفر به سرزمین وحشی‌ها»؛ ترجمه و منتشر شده است؛ کتاب مصور کودکان که داستان آن هم، در مورد رویاهای کودکی است، که بدون خوردن شام، به رختخواب فرستاده شده بود، این کتاب مصور، به عنوان یکی از بهترین، و دوست داشتنی‌ترین کتاب‌های مصور کودکان، در تمام دوران‌ها ستایش شده است

نقل از پشت جلد: (شاید بتوان گفت که سفر به سرزمین وحشی‌ها مشهورترین کتاب تصویری سده بیستم میلادی، در سراسر دنیای غرب است؛ «موریس سِنداک» برای نشان دادن روانشناسی پسرک نافرمان در داستان خود، از صفحه آرایی کتاب سود می‌برد؛ هم‌چنین صفحه‌ آرایی او به منظور نشان دادن بازگشت این کودک از نافرمانی به خانه و محیطی امن است؛ نقل از پیتر هانت)؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 20/03/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ 24/01/1401هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for jessica.
2,477 reviews29.7k followers
December 24, 2018
‘‘and now,’ max cried, ‘let the wild rumpus start!’’

i babysat the other night and, i swear, i read this book at least 30 times within a 4 hour time span (kids, eh?). i never read this story as a child and i cant help but feel like i missed out on something special.

but luckily, this is one of those timeless classics that still has something for everyone, no matter the age.

this story is for everyone who yearns for wild adventure, for the lovers and attendees of every wild rumpus, for each person who wildly believes in magic, and for those who are wild at heart.

this story is for the wild things in all of us.

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Orsodimondo.
2,100 reviews1,590 followers
December 4, 2020
FINISCE SEMPRE COSÌ


Il film omonimo diretto da Spike Jonze, 2009.

Sì, per fortuna finisce sempre così.
E meno male che c'è qualcuno che ce lo ricorda, aiutandosi con splendidi disegni come fa Maurice Sendak.

Questo libro è ormai un classico, non solo perché ha cinquanta e passa anni di vita, ma per il suo successo e la sua diffusione (videogiochi, composizioni musicali, teatro, cinema).


Ancora il film diretto da Spike Jonze.

Da piccoli la paura è un sentimento utile, perfino salvifico.
È crescendo che diventa letale.

Se qualcuno volesse far approfondire l'argomento al proprio bambino, consiglio caldamente La Grosse colère – Che rabbia! di Mireille d'Allancé del quale segue questa immagine:

Profile Image for Manybooks.
3,008 reviews104 followers
June 2, 2022
It is often difficult to review a book that was and still is one of my favorite all-time picture books. I adore everything about Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, from the brilliant text to the expressive accompanying illustrations. And I also with all my heart appreciate the message the author promotes here, a message of unconditional love, a message that even if one misbehaves, there will be supper waiting on the table (Max does get sent to his room, but no matter how much he has misbehaved, his mother will always love him and cherish him). Of course, that particular message is only one of many. As essential as the concept of universal love is the philosophy, is the attitude that children's emotions and tantrums are to be taken seriously and not ever simply dismissed. Max might be seen and chastised as a "wild thing" by his mother, but his emotions, his actions are described as an integral part of his being, maybe not quite appropriate, but also not completely inappropriate, rather as a living, breathing part of Max's being. And it is these emotions, these feelings that are the impetus to Max's adventures in the realm of the Wild Things. However, once Max's emotions have been allowed and have flourished to the maximum, he retreats from the realm of the Wild Things and is happy to return home to his room, his waiting supper and his mother's love.

I guess I should really mention that one of my more recent rereads of Where the Wild Things Are (in 2011 for the Picture Book Club in the Children's Literature Group) was the first time I had actually read this book in English. Prior to 2011, I had only ever read it in German translation, and I have to admit that I actually like the translated German version somewhat better than the original English. For those who know me, this is quite a contrary attitude, as I am as a rule very much in favour of original texts and keeping any translated narratives as close to the original as possible. In this particular case, I think that I appreciate the German translation more because it is the narrative that I had repeatedly read to me when I was a child, that I later read for myself (and in 2005 read to my young nieces). The German translation of Where the Wild Things Are therefore has a nostalgic hold on me that the Maurice Sendak's original text, no matter how ingenious, not matter that it is the master, the primordial, will simply never have (and for me, the ultimate version of this book will always, always be the German translation, Wo Die Wilden Kerle Wohnen.
Profile Image for Michael Finocchiaro.
Author 2 books5,414 followers
November 22, 2016
I have read the story of Max about 1,000,000 times and my kids love it too. The illustrations are magical and the text is beyond wonderful. It is one of the most fun and rewarding books for a parent to read to a kid (lots of fun making dancing sounds and monster sounds!) and features joyful plot. A must!
Profile Image for James.
Author 17 books3,479 followers
October 24, 2017
I loved this so much, I begged to star in it in an elementary school play. I won the lead role but had to share it with another classmate as we were doing 8 performances and couldn't be out of classes for rehearsals that often! I got to be rowdy... even though I was the quietest child possible. And who doesn't love to act like an animal, parade through the jungle and revisit their roots! But what do we love even more... our family and those who love us. Sometimes we can be too much and need to done it down. And that's the lesson this little one teaches us.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.
Profile Image for Alex.
1,419 reviews4,278 followers
October 5, 2018
I didn't realize this was The Odyssey for so long. It seems so obvious now! It's the Cyclops part. Polyphemus.

wild_things
odyssey

Which makes Max's mom a stand-in for Penelope, keeping his dinner hot for him as he sails "in and out of weeks and almost over a year," and that's a little weird but there's always something a little weird about Maurice Sendak, isn't there? Have you read In the Night Kitchen? It's fuckin' weird, man. None of this knocks Where the Wild Things Are any lower on the list of Great Children's Literature, where it is #1.

It's everything, right? The way Sendak writes - everything is a little effortlessly different. He starts in media res, "The night Max wore his wolf suit..." I like to evolve the way I say wild things - in the beginning I put the emphasis like "wild Things," and then I switch it up to the Hendrixian "Wild things" as we build to this:

“And now,” cried Max,
“let the wild rumpus start!”

Which honestly, can you think of a better sentence in all of literature? I'm being serious! I can't. This is my favorite one.

You ever notice how the pictures get bigger? Max making mischief of one kind and another is just a little picture on the page, but by the time the wild rumpus gets going it's full page spreads, there's not even room for any words. And those creatures! You've probably heard how Sendak modeled them on his family. Look how awesome they are.

parade
Which one is your favorite? I like the hippie in the back.

And of course it's great because, like the best children's books, it takes children seriously. Max is being an asshole. Dude chased the dog with a fork, what the fuck. His mother punishes him and he learns zero lessons, he just plays in his room until she gives in. That's a plot a kid can dig! Children can tell when a book is written for them and when it's written at them. This is for children. It has magic in it, and so do they.
Profile Image for Mischenko.
1,012 reviews97 followers
March 21, 2021
I can still remember reading this for the first time in my grade school library. The pictures and illustrations can be a little scary at times, but they still remain incredible to me. I love children's books that are adventurous and take you places. This is one of them.

5*****
Profile Image for Lisa.
971 reviews3,331 followers
March 23, 2020
May I suggest this little cherished gem as a perfect inspiration for all of you who are locked away in private isolation somewhere on this globe? (Wow, by the way: we all share this experience, across towns and countries and continents - or does anyone need a reminder what I am referring to?)

With our imagination, we can travel from our claustrophobic reality to Where the Wild Things Are. And my guess is that those wild things will be quite a comfort and relief from news and coughs and worries...

Cheers to the Imagined Wild! Nothing Beside Remains...
Profile Image for Mrinmayi.
155 reviews570 followers
November 1, 2020
All This little Bratty jerk needed was a flying chappal

I am NOT joking!! He was a total brat..and all his mother did was send him without supper!!
If I behaved that way with my mom..you won't be reading this review today😂

Been there, done that dude!! Thank you very much!!😒
[image error]
EVER BEEN IN THIS SITUATION??!
I am sorry but my little brown heart just can't RELATE!!!
The most " lenient " parents can get is this way..

BUT even that comes with a side effect!!

I pity this☝ kid😂
So you mean to say... he disrespected his mom, gave BRATTY replies...and threatened her
STILL his momma gave him his dinner??

(Translation: I will slap you)
You know what?? Even I wont read this book to my niece !!
What if she takes inspiration from THIS book??!! Then MY parents will beat the crap out of me for "spoiling" her😭😂😶

This book was indeed "FANTASY" aka a "FANTASY" for brown kids
The worse thing is we even benefit from it xD
There's a saying in Hindi...
लातों के भूत बातों से नहीं मानते
translation:
Rude people do not understand soft language

This basically applies to bratty kids
Sometimes you need to use chappal to stop them from getting spoiled


I mean..GOOD LUCK to his mom!! Try handling this satan spawn WITHOUT giving "ACTUAL" punishment😂Good luck with that lady..Good luck😂🤣😆


My moms gonna KILL me if she saw this review
Mrin rn
Profile Image for Gabriel.
420 reviews543 followers
June 27, 2022
Se lo vi a mi hermanita y me dije porqué no. Pues fue un ni fu ni fa.
Aunque evidentemente no soy el público al que va dirigido.
Profile Image for Kirk.
Author 25 books107 followers
June 19, 2012
Where the Wild Things Are

What's the moral of this story? Some might say Sendack's work is a testament to the unbridled powers of a child's imagination. Others would posit that the true virtue of Where the Wild Things Are stems from the reversal of a timeless power dynamic in which monsters frighten children. In Sendack's carefully rendered world, monsters submit to the whims of children, which appears to suit Max well enough. I assume it works well for other children as well. If you can't convince snot-nosed brats that monsters don't exist, at least you can convince them that monsters are friendly. Children, after all, are like neo-conservatives. You can only reason with them on their own delusional terms.

Here's the summary:

Max is an asshole. His mother calls him a monster, so he flies into a cannibalistic rage. She sends him to his room without dinner, which doesn't seem to be the best of ideas since he just threatened to eat her f*&% face off, but whatever. This book isn't heralded as a classic because of its promotion of high-quality parenting techniques. I'll get to that in a moment.

I couldn't help but notice the parallels between the story of Max and the early years of Siddhartha. Both starve themselves until they hallucinate. But the similarities end there. Siddhartha realizes that his approach to transcendentalism is misguided, and he eats once more. Max, on the other hand, starves himself for a night and trees grow in his room. Then he proceeds to get on a boat and fast for an entire year, at which point he starts seeing giant monsters.

The fact that these monsters cater to his delusions of grandeur--cowering in his presence and sharing his flesh-eating inclinations--lets us know that Max has externalized his fantasy world through strict fasting. On one hand, I respect this kid. I can rarely push through four days without wheat before the weekend starts and I pack in 80lbs of corporate-grown meat and bleached bread. On the other hand, what the hell is this book teaching our children? I'll tell you.


description
That middle finger means "I was raised on Sendak!"


Aside from self-imposed starvation, the book teaches children to give up on their aspirations as soon as the slightest temptation arises: "he smelled good things to eat so he gave up being king." It sends the message that those who love you would just as happily rip your entrails out and feast upon them as soon as you decide to leave: "Oh please don't go-we'll eat you up-we love you so!" And, finally, it shows them that parents' threats are temporally limited, and eventually love will cause them to cave in. At the end of the story, Max returns to his room "where he found his supper waiting for him." Way to be strong, mom. Pushover.

I bet Satan loves this book.
Profile Image for G.
27 reviews5 followers
March 16, 2008
The classic. I would take this on a desert island. So much to explore and interpret in the words and the pictures. I'm afraid my girls don't like the book as much as I do. But sooner or later, they'll come around.

I see quite a few people complaining about Max being a little shit and not learning a lesson in "Where the Wild Things Are." Well, guess what, a lot of kids are little shits. And I believe Max did learn a few things on his journey. Sometimes it's not so good to be the king. Even with all his power over the wild things, he still missed home. And even when he's bad, he can count on his Mama. That's a lesson in appreciating what you got. It's too bad people have to be so one-dimensional about children's books -- but given the amount of 4 & 5-star reviews this book gets on Goodreads alone, I'm certain the naysayers are way off the mark... Anyway, just had to say that.
Profile Image for Jason Koivu.
Author 7 books1,198 followers
June 10, 2013
Like a gremlin crouched in the back of a dim cave, Where the Wild Things Are lay on my cousin's bedroom floor. My cousin was in kindergarden and I was being babysat by my aunt, busy in the kitchen downstairs - might as well have been miles away. The bedroom shades were drawn, the house quiet, the room empty. That book with its-its things in it called to me. I'd never seen anything like it. My books had colorful, happy animals that didn't make me feel this way....what was this feeling? Was this what was known as fear? And what were those things? Were they, maybe, those things called monsters? I'd not fully experienced fear before, perhaps because I'd not put a face on it. I crept closer. Those faces looked mean, ferocious. I stopped in the middle of the room, neither advancing towards the book, nor fleeing. I was terrified...and I loved it!


Appendixed!: It's Maurice Sendak's birthday today. (Thanks Google!) If he hadn't died last year, he would be 85 now....85 crusty old years. Right around the time he died NPR was playing archival interviews of him. It was the first time I'd heard him speak. I could've done without the experience. I have nothing against his voice, rather the things that come out of his mouth. The man was curmudgeonly to the core it seems. I can be a bit of a pill myself sometimes, so I should cut him some slack, but I was surprised by his grouchiness. I suppose I always assume children's authors are bright, cheerful sorts. Heck, they write happy little stories about colorful, good-hearted characters that usually come out on top. How could such stuff come from a sourpuss? Well, Sendak was proof that it can. Hm. That's funny. I'm 40 and I'm still learning things from children's lit.
Profile Image for Reading_ Tamishly.
3,938 reviews2,162 followers
January 19, 2021
I just cannot believe what I just read!
Totally amazed me with the unusual illustrations!
I haven't read a children's book with such kind of illustration depicting the wild imagination of a kid with such innocence.
It is just suitable for very young kids.
Less words.
More pictures.
The sequential art is the highlight of this one.
But...
I just felt it was too short. Just too short!
I need more.
Profile Image for Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen).
419 reviews1,623 followers
August 10, 2018
3.5 Stars

Small fry was utterly enchanted, and I think we both loved Max’s unbridled excitement. The whole story reads like a love-letter to childish imagination.

But Max was also a mean little snoot who threatened to eat his mother and was a little tyrant to the Wild Things... jussaying

Kid Lit Experiment 2018 #7
Profile Image for Meg Sherman.
169 reviews413 followers
June 9, 2008
Another 5 star! Man, I'm getting generous. You guys just keep bringing up stories that KICK TRASH! This is the greatest children's book in the history of time as far as I'm concerned. And I'll tell you something WICKED AWESOME about it that I figured out when I researched it for a play adaptation I wrote. **GET OUT THE COPY OF YOUR CHILDREN'S BOOK RIGHT NOW**... Flip through the pages, and notice that on the first page the artwork is a small rectangle... then it grows larger and larger on every page, until the forest takes up one entire side by itself... then as Max sails on the ship it begins to creep into the other half of the page... and grow... and GROW... getting wilder and wilder until the Wild Rumpus Dance (made up of six solid pages of GORGEOUS artwork, NO WORDS)... then Max decides he misses home... and the artwork shrinks... and shrinks... until the last page, which contains no artwork at all, but simply the words, "and it was still hot." Subconsciously, your mind goes on this fantastical journey into the extreme creative right brain where there are no concrete thoughts or language, just drug-trippy monsters and mayhem... then it returns just as abruptly. IS SENDAK A FRIGGIN' GENIUS OR WHAT???? Man, I love that guy.
Profile Image for Apokripos.
146 reviews18 followers
July 12, 2011
Through a Child’s Eye
(A Book Review of Maurice Sendak’s Where The Wild Things Are)


I’m glad that I recently scored a vintage 1963 edition (pictures here) of Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are in Booksale during one of the mini Meet Ups with my Goodreads-The Filipino Group friends. I breeze through the book in a matter of minutes while waiting for them, and right there and then something just hit me. Without a doubt, it certainly earns its place as a classic storybook of Children’s Literature.

Where the Wild Things Are tells the story of the rascal Max, who dresses up in his wolf suit and causes trouble enough to make his mother order him to go to bed without supper at all. As the title alludes, the picture book shows a child’s unbound and limitless wild rumpus of an imagination exhibited when Max reaches deeper within his imagining and sees his room transformed into a forest inhabited by the Wild Things — roaring and gnashing monsters with yellow eyes, sharp teeth and horns — where he, by a mere stare, can tame and be the king of them all.

I think what endears every child who reads Sendak’s picture book is that most of them can identify with Max’s feeling of resentment, that though he had had his share of fun out of it, he eventually grows weary and lonely, permitting him later on to go back to the place where he most wants to be and appreciate the most important thing he left behind: the need to feel loved.

At home, after a tiring yet fun-filled day with friends and before hitting the sack, I’m still at it, staring mesmerized by Sendak’s impressive work of art with its muted colors and cross-hatchings, that looks like sketches, add further magic, energy and excitement to every kid who reads it they would love to be in the shoes of Max, playing with the Wild Things on their “wild rumpus” where they can howl at the moon and swing from tree to tree in bold celebration of all the wildness they possess.

I rue the fact that I stumbled upon this picture book well into my manhood, but it definitely touched something in me — the book has this uncanny ability to enchant itself to the nostalgic memory of childhood, rekindling its innermost emotions. It’s as if I’m seeing the world again through a child’s eye.

Nevertheless, this is a book worth keeping — for every reading always brings a new perspective, a nuanced view of the book’s message — which I will one day read to my future children and let them discover for themselves a world of their own creation; a world where the wild things are, where only they has the power to tame.


_________________________
Book Details: Book #24 for 2011
Published by Harper & Row, Publishers
(Hardcover, 1963 First Edition)
42 pages
Read on: June 15, 2011
My Rating: ★★★★★

[See this review on my book blog Dark Chest of Wonders and for many others.]
Profile Image for Brad.
Author 2 books1,669 followers
March 22, 2009
Of all the books I read my kids, and there are many, this is my favourite to perform.

It is so easy to turn Where the Wild Things Are into a a big, rollicking tickle fest, and I am never able to resist the urge. When those Wild Things show up with their "terrible roars" and "terrible eyes" and "terrible claws," I attack my kids with everything I've got until they are reduced to quivering masses of giggled out jelly.

And Max, the King of the Wild Things, is one of the coolest kids in any kids book ever. Sure he's being too much of a "Wild Thing," which gets him sent to bed, but he's not your modern kid. There's no brattiness and entitlement. Just a cool kid getting a little crazy on fun before being sent off to bed and a great adventure in his dreams.

And when he comes back from his adventure he finds his dinner waiting for him...and it's still hot.

Super cool fun for you and your kids.
Profile Image for SheReadsALot.
1,837 reviews1,178 followers
March 18, 2016
So not my normal choice of read. But it was a me and little one book, where I read and he listens or pretends to...hopefully we can nail down the 'pretend to listen' game with the kid. (But not with me, because I'm the favorite aunt--duh.)

Anyway, the story was...meh to me. I remember when I was younger and saw this book. I bypassed it then. Apparently, I was onto something because I totally would bypass it now, especially after reading.

I couldn't stand Max. Why would the awesome beasts/monsters be tamed by him? He didn't do anything but show up even if he's the one pulling the strings.

But the pictures were nice.

What did the kid think? Fucking enthralled! Seriously glued to the pages.
Or it could have been the sound of my voice. *shrugs*

If he could speak, he'd rate it: 10/10 would read again.

So...

Me: 2 stars
Kid: 5 stars


Let's meet middle ground and average, 3.5 stars. I'll round up because...ugh...we'll be rereading.
Profile Image for Hayat.
570 reviews169 followers
March 8, 2016
My kids weren't so keen on this beloved children's story but I loved the illustrations, although, the story was a little bit disturbing if you pay close attention to what the little boy is doing or threatening to do. Hmmm?
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