Sunday, July 31, 2011

Children's Book Review: Where The Wild Things Are

Name of Book: Where The Wild Things Are
Author / Illustrator: Written and Illustrated by Maurice Sendak
What It's All About: Max is misbehaving in his monster costume and his mother sends him to bed without supper.  Slowly his room becomes a forest and Max sails away for a year and a day to the land where the wild things are.  He tames them with a look and becomes their king.  When he decides to leave they cry, "We'll eat you up we love you so!" but Max says, "No".  So off he sails for a year and a day back to his bedroom where his dinner is waiting on the table, still hot.  Just another evening in the imagination of a child.
My Favorite Bit: I think my favorite illustration in this story is the room becoming trees in the forest.  It's done beautifully and it feels a little like Peter Pan with all the lovely colors.  You can still see his window and door in this picture.
Suitable Age For Reading It To: I feel this one's not for your youngest as I've always worried about those monsters and their terrible teeth and terrible claws.  It isn't a comforting environment.  That being said, if your child loves it then read away.  It's a great story even if it has been gigantisized by a movie and a plethora of merchandise.
Go Get It: Where The Wild Things Are on Amazon US in hardback
A Little About The Author / Illustrator:
Maurice Sendak was born in 1928 in Brooklyn, New York to Polish Jewish immigrant parents.  He developed a love of books at an early age when he was confined to bed due to health problems.  One of his first jobs was to create window displays for F.A.O. Schwartz toy company.  He spent most of the 1950's illustrating other authors' works before beginning to write his own.  The monsters in his wildly popular Where The Wild Things Are were based on relatives who would come to weekly dinners.  Because of their broken English and odd mannerisms, they were the perfect basis for the monsters for Sendak.  Before writing Where The Wild Things Are, Sendak was best known for illustrating the Little Bear series.  Also see my earlier post to learn a little tiny bit about Mr. Sendak here.
 Maurice Sendak and a few friends


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