Monday, August 17, 2009

Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Where the Wild Things Are is one of the true children's classic picture books. It has been around so many years and the adventures shared by many generations. When I look back to my own childhood, I honestly do not ever remember reading this book or having it read to me. It seems that my first discovery of the book happened in my early twenties when I worked in a bookstore. People kept asking me where to find this book that I finally felt that I should check it out for myself.

One way to determine its greatness is the high honor of receiving the Caldecott Medal in 1964! In my opinion, the artwork is absolutely superb!! You truly get wrapped up in Max's adventures where he "sailed off through night and day / and in and out of weeks / and almost over a year / to where the wild things are." The depiction of the wild things is child-like, but complex. The artistry is detailed and simply amazing! I can literally sit down with the book myself for hours just examining each of the pictures! And, the commentary . . . doesn't it sound like a child narrating? Sendak really has nailed this one!!

Susan over at Booklights recently shared a different perspective on the artwork of the book . . . the design . . . the way the pictures start out small and grow before our eyes. It's funny . . . I never even realized the format that she discusses!! BUT, I felt the effects!! I always feel that I just fall into the story every time I read it, creating a "wild rumpus" of my own.

Warner Brothers has now made the book into a movie (click here for the official movie site) that is set to be released October 16th. I personally have mixed feelings about this! I'm worried that the movie will not do Sendak's vision justice. I wonder if my interpretation of the wild rumpus will be what is portrayed on the big screen. BUT, you have to admit . . . the cinematography does look pretty cool!!

All in all, this is one my all-time favorite children's books! I can now say that I own my very own copy that I enjoy sharing with my own kids. And, it is not uncommon for us to bring the "wild rumpus" to life!!

Have you shared this book with a new generation? Are you looking forward to the release of the movie?

Movie poster courtesy of Wikipedia entry on Where the Wild Things Are

Want another opinion?


  1. My mom used to read this to me was one of my favorites. I never got tired of it! I only wish that I had a son/daughter to read it to...I consider it a very special book. :)

  2. Oh, I do love this one! Being a bit of a wild thing when I was small, I always had a soft spot in my heart for Max. :)
    I have mixed feelings about the movie, too. I hope it's wonderful (and it looks as if it might be), but I'm anxious to see if it will be a true interpretation!

  3. We definitely have a copy on the home shelves but Z hasn't quite connected with it yet. Maybe I will try again.

    I'm just thinking that we have to (as in past discussions) take this movie as an "inspired by the book" and not expect too much fidelity from it. Let's call it an homage.

  4. For some reason my parents never got this book for me. I don't remember ever reading it, but I think I saw it on Reading Rainbow or something like that.

  5. I don't remember having this book as a child either, but picked it up while working in a bookstore just like you did. Found so many great kid's books that way!

    Have to agree that we need to keep an open mind with the movie, as movies can never compare to a beloved book.

    Also, I have an award for you on my blog, so stop by when you have time. Thanks!

  6. Missy . . . it is a very special book! And, it probably only made it more special for your relationship with your mom!

    Tiffany Norris . . . How can one not have a soft spot for Max?!? But, then again, don't we all have a wild side to help us relate?! :)

    Kristen M. . . . My son got hooked on it once we started doing more of a "performance" than a "reading" . . . singing, dancing, rumpusing (is that even a word?!?!). And, I agree . . . homage is a great word to use!!

    heidenkind . . . Have you had the opportunity to pick up the book on your own yet? If not, I highly recommend it!! Sometimes a rumpus is good for even us "grown-ups"!! :)

    Alexia561 . . . Working at a bookstore really opened my eyes to a lot of different genres, but especially kids! I had no idea that there were so many amazing books out there and I thought I read a lot (or was read to)!! Goes to show that there will probably always be hidden treasures for us to find! And, thanks for the award!! Loved it!! :)

    Melody . . . October 16th will be here before you know it!! :)


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