Where the Wild Things Are

Where the Wild Things Are

One night Max puts on his wolf suit and makes mischief of one kind and another, so his mother calls him 'Wild Thing' and sends him to bed without his supper. That night a forest begins to grow in Max's room and an ocean rushes by with a boat to take Max to the place where the wild things are. Max tames the wild things and crowns himself as their king, and then the wild rum...

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Title:Where the Wild Things Are
Author:Maurice Sendak
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Where the Wild Things Are Reviews

  • Nathan

    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 shoul

    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

  • Angie

    "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

    from behind my back.

    "Don't you already have that?"

    "Nuh-uh."

    "Aren't you a little...

    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 le

    "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

    from behind my back.

    "Don't you already have that?"

    "Nuh-uh."

    "Aren't you a little...

    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.

  • Jason Koivu

    Like a gremlin crouched in the back of a dim cave,

    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 w

    Like a gremlin crouched in the back of a dim cave,

    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!

  • Manybooks

    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

    , 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 mis

    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

    , 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

    (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

    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,

    .

  • Michael Finocchiaro

    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!

  • Mischenko

    Please visit our blog

    for this review and others!

    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*****

  • Orsodimondo

    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).

    Da piccoli la paura è un sentimento utile, perfino salvifico.

    È crescendo che diventa letale.

    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).

    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" di Mireille d' Allancé.

  • James

    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 d

    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.

    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

    , 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.

    : 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.

  • Kirk

    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 convi

    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.

    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.

  • fleegan

    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.

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