Where the Wild Things Are

By Maurice Sendak,

Book cover of Where the Wild Things Are

Book description

Read-along with the story in this book and CD edition!

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…

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Why read it?

10 authors picked Where the Wild Things Are as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This is the story of a little boy who feels misunderstood by his parents and imagines escaping to an island full of “wild things”. 

After he discovers that he is the “wildest thing” on the island he grows bored and returns home to a “hot supper”. The story is beautifully illustrated by the fanciful drawings of Sendak, while Max’s behavior and experiences are easily understood by children.

Even before Dr. Seuss, I read this classic.

I reiterate my sentiment on telling powerful stories through rhyme. The rhyme tends to disappear in the same way that subtitles do when watching foreign films, and yet it drives the plot and flow seamlessly. Of course, the illustration is extraordinary and certainly contributes to the appeal, but for me, it is the mastery of the rhyme as it could easily stand on its own. 

This book starts out with a boy a bit over excited and making mischief and his mother needs to discipline him.

She doesn’t outwardly scold him but rather sends him to his room to manage his emotions. It celebrates that children can manage their own emotions and their own reactions to problems.

It celebrates the amazing imaginations of children. And that they have choice – and given choice, they can remain king to their reactions–they can choose to “stay wild with the wild things” or they can return to calm and join the family again.

The mother’s punishment was not…

This is a children’s book published in 1963. My mother read it to me, and now I read it to my daughter. It is, quite simply, wonderful. You probably know this book already, but just in case you don’t, it’s about a little boy called Max who is sent to his room without a meal because he has been naughty and ends up going on a magical journey to a land of wild monsters, where he becomes king. Eventually he returns and finds his warm supper waiting for him. I love this book. It spoke to me as an imaginative…

From Miranda's list on the magic in the ordinary.

A children’s book that’s so much more than the linear tale of a naughty child who crosses the sea to become king of an island of monsters (for being the wildest thing of them all). The simple narrative explores anger, frustration, rebellion, and – perhaps most importantly – the power of a child’s imagination. Through couplets, Maurice Sendak conjures up a powerful story with incredible imagery – who can forget Max’s paper boat sailing back ‘over a year; and in and out of weeks; and through a day; and into the night of his very own room’? – and a,…

From Geoff's list on magic, heroes, and rock ‘n’ roll.

This classic children’s book about a boy’s voyage to a land of monsters demonstrates how creatures who are very different can have a caring relationship. I liked how it shows children that potentially scary beings can be friendly. It exemplifies for children the old adage, “You can’t judge a book by its’ cover.”   

From Andrew's list on friendship and diversity.

Sendak’s masterpiece is deceptively simple. Like Harold’s adventure, there are few words and many images, and yet it manages to take the reader to another world, one populated by monsters – and yet at its core is a very human story. When Max journeys to an island filled with wild things, a realm devoid of rules, he frolics with his new friends until he realizes that he misses his mother (in spite of the fact that she punished him simply because he wanted to eat the family pet). My favorite part: When he finally returns to his room – after…

From Wade's list on ignite your imagination.

I’m recommending this book because of the imaginative world of monsters the author created. The book has a straightforward message about how the boy could be in a world where things could be wild and untamed if he chose. Even after all the fun he had, he was exhausted by the over-the-top antics of the monsters.

I love the illustrations, which really tell the story. Max was having amazing fun and that was very appealing to me at a young age. My main takeaway was that Max got a dose of his own medicine, and realized it’s okay to be…

From Jessica's list on imagination and the places it takes you.

This is an absolute classic, both for its spare but extraordinarily imaginative text and its wonderful illustrations. Max puts on his wolf suit – as you do – and gets up to no end of mischief, so his mother calls him ‘Wild Thing’ and sends him to bed. That’s when the adventure begins. Max’s room turns into a forest and an ocean flows by with a boat to take him to where the wild things are. When they see him, the wild things – fabulous, great big goggle-eyed monsters roar at him threateningly, but Max tells them to be…

From Sally's list on picture books with scary things.

Having perhaps been a wild thing himself, Max is sent away to his room where he imagines being in a land of wild things—monsters—creating a rumpus with them, but eventually returning home, where he finds his supper on a plate waiting for him, and it is still warm. Sendak, as both an author and illustrator, was a picture book pioneer in showcasing children’s sometimes unconscious conflicted feelings.

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