May 11, 2012

Fiction Fridays: Where The Wild Things Are

Where The Wild Things Are
by Maurice Sendak, 1963
this edition: Red Fox, 2000

The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind
and another
his mother called him "WILD THING!"
and Max said "I'LL EAT YOU UP!"
so he was sent to bed without eating anything.

This week Maurice Sendak passed away, so I will be surprised if I am the only one to cover this book in Fiction Fridays this week.

My kids are not so sure about this book, and when I was a kid I wasn't so sure either. It's a fantastic, compelling book, and is part of most of our childhood memories. But it sits somewhere in a child's imagination between delight and nightmares, and evokes complicated reactions.

One of the clever classics.

It's about growing up - striking out, testing your skills and learning your limits.
It's about learning self-control and anger management.
It's about the tension between independence and belonging.
It's about leadership.
It's about taming one's inner beasts.
It's about giving freedom to the magic of the imagination.
It's about the nature of love and control.
It's about family.

And of course, it's about a little boy who is naughty and gets punished, which initially makes him angry and rebellious, until he gets hungry and lonely and returns to the comforts of family.

Who doesn't love that last page about Max's supper:

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  1. My kids and I love this book! Especially when the wild rumpus begins.
    I did it for a fiction friday too, a few weeks before Maurice Sendak died. Maybe I'm psychic...?

    1. You must be! I'll hop over and read yours too.
      I love the wild rumpus too, but I was a bit of a whimpy kid and I always liked the bit where he comes back home the best!

  2. This book - along with Eric Carle's 'The very hungry caterpillar' and PD Eastman's 'Go Dog Go' are my utterly favourite three books from childhood.

    1. I like this "top 3". My three utter favourites from childhood were "The Very Hungry Caterpillar", a Little Golden Book called "The Color Kittens" and a Beginner Book "I Wish That I Had Duck Feet".



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