Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

(10.0/10) Will allow children's imaginations to soar and will continue to delight.

The story of Max’s adventures when he sails away to the land where the Wild Things are

Maurice Sendak’s children’s picture book has become an acknowledged classic. A winner of the Caldecott Medal for the Most Distinguished Picture Book of the Year in 1964, Where the Wild Things Are is a timeless masterpiece that can be enjoyed equally by children and grown-ups.

Where the Wild Things changed children’s books forever. The illustrations are dreamlike, the writing style simple, yet imaginative and delightfully atypical. It is a timeless classic; a book to be read and re-read every night of the week, a book to be enjoyed and cherished.

This wonderful fantasy is ideal for four to eight-year-olds that will not, despite some reviews, scare children. It is simple and it is beautiful, featuring verse as lyrical as the following extract:

and he sailed off through night and day
and in and out of weeks
and almost over a year
to where the wild things are

Where the Wild Things Are will allow children’s imaginations to soar and will continue to delight them for at least another 40 years.

When asked about the inspiration behind his Wild Things, the author and illustrator replied in his typically forthright and honest manner:

“My brother, sister and I were sitting shiva, the Jewish ceremony. And all we did was laugh hysterically. I remember our relatives used to come from the old country, those few who got in before the gate closed, all on my mother's side. And how we detested them. And these people didn't speak English. And they were unkempt. Their teeth were horrifying. Nose... unravelling out of their hair, unravelling out of their noses. And they'd pick you up and hug you and kiss you, "Aggghh. Oh, we could eat you up." And we know they would eat anything, anything. And so, they're the wild things. And when I remember them, the discussion with my brother and sister, how we laughed about these people who we of course grew up to love very much, I decided to render them as the wild things, my aunts and my uncles and my cousins. And that's who they are.”
Maurice Sendak, in an interview with PBS

Maurice Sendak was born in Brooklyn, New York. At the age of twelve, inspired by Disney’s Fantasia, he made the decision to become an illustrator and, after spending many years working as an artist for children's books, he began to write his own stories.

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