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:
ISBN:0099408392
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:37 pages

Where the Wild Things Are Reviews

  • fleegan
    Aug 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.

  • Nathan
    Nov 03, 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 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

  • G
    Feb 15, 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 al

    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.

  • Meg
    Jun 08, 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

    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.

  • Angie
    Sep 11, 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

    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
    Jun 24, 2010

    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!

  • Apokripos
    Jun 15, 2011

    I’m glad that I recently scored a vintage 1963 edition (

    ) of Maurice Sendak’s

    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 Literat

    I’m glad that I recently scored a vintage 1963 edition (

    ) of Maurice Sendak’s

    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.

    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

    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

    and for many others.]

  • Manybooks
    Jan 09, 2012

    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,

    .

  • Kirk
    Apr 08, 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 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.

  • Fino
    Oct 02, 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!