children’s lit

The Lasting Impact of ‘Where The Wild Things Are’

On this day in 1963, the classic children’s story Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak was published, and it’s still beloved by children and adults everywhere. So, what has made this wild tale so cherished over the years?

 

 

Where The Wild Things Are tells the story of Max, an imaginative young boy dressed in a wolf suit who has been sent to bed without supper after misbehaving all day. When he falls asleep, his room transforms into a whimsical land of wild things. The wild things try to frighten and intimidate Max, but when they see that he is unafraid, they make him their king. They have a wild rumpus, making a lot of commotion in a way only wild things can. Soon, Max becomes homesick, longing for “…where someone loved him most of all.” Max is taken out of the fantasy when he smells his dinner. Despite the protest of the wild things, Max returns to his room and his mother, ready for supper.

Image via WikiArt

Where The Wild Things Are was met with mixed reviews and even banned in some places.  People were worried that the book would glorify temper tantrums and other aspects of it were too dark for children.  But these elements are what made it so popular. The book was among the first of its kind to take the emotions of children seriously. Max is a realistic child that misbehaves and gets angry, too young to really consider the consequences. Max is someone kids can identify with. It also teaches children to channel their emotions creatively, to not just be destructive with it. Finally, it teaches kids that even when they misbehave, there will always be people that love them. Maybe it’s these lessons that make Where The Wild Things Are so popular.

 

Or maybe it’s just fun to be a wild thing every once and a while.

FEATURED IMAGE VIA THE MAURICE SENDAK FOUNDATION

You’ll Want This Book for your Kids

Hello readers!  Are you interested in a book for you kids? Well, look no further! Shaynae Clark, Detroit mother to Pierre Clark, a child with cochlear implants, has recently had her children’s book, We are Friends and We are Different!, published!  In it, she tells a story of different children coming together to be friends, despite their differences.

Clark’s book, according to the video above, is centered around children with various differences, because she seeks to teach the audience she is targeting that differences are ok in people; differences should not be the thing that defines who we can and can’t be friends with.

 

Clark’s book has gained inspiration from her son, who has Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder, where the inner ear successfully detects sound, but has a problem with sending sound from the ear to the brain.  As she has raised her child, she has embraced and understood what it meant to be an advocate for not only kids with cochlear implants but for other kids with disabilities and differences.

Clark says that her book is a good starting point for parents to begin important conversations with their kids about why people are different and to not be afraid of them.  If you are interested in her book, you may visit the amazon link above!

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Featured image via Amazon

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A Love Letter to Jon Klassen, Author of ‘I Want My Hat Back’

Dear adored children’s author Jon Klassen,

I have purchased the entirety of your Hat series, I Want My Hat Back, We Found a Hat, and This Is Not My Hat for my first cousins. While they may have not enjoyed them as much as I had, I’ll still purchase them for future cousins to come. 

 

I first fell in love with your books while working at an independent bookstore in quiet Sunnyvale, California. The associated children’s bookstore next door carried your books, so when I sauntered in looking to expand my literary range, I saw it. The newly published We Found a Hat.  It’s pink and grey ombre cover and the cute little turtles just sitting so entrancingly. I grabbed the book and took it next door, not knowing what I was getting myself into.

 

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Image Via Tumblr

 

From my past experiences in children’s literature, I was expecting a simplified story with a moral about friendship, family, or how to be a decent child in the world. Your writing and illustrations gave a whole new meaning to picture books.

 

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Image Via Amazon

 

Just look at that turtle’s side eye. I have never seen a more relevant expression in any pictorial depiction in my twenty years of life. By the end of the book, I was hooked. The New York Times blurb about We Found A Hat being “a masterpiece” and The Boston Globe calling it “a moving story about loyalty, sacrifice, friendship, and the power of imagination” were no understatements. Thank goodness you had four other books published at the time. I ran next door, slammed the book on the counter, and ran back over to the children’s book section to pick up a copy of every book we had. 

 

Amazon’s description of I Want My Hat Back left me with many questions, “A picture-book delight by a rising talent tells a cumulative tale with a mischievous twist.” I could be getting myself into anything at this point and I stayed unafraid. I swiftly went back to the front desk on my side of the store and opened up I Want My Hat Back

 

The range of emotion expressed by this bear is immeasurable and I will never find a better visual expression of betrayal and realization of the betrayal in beautiful watercolor paintings. While browsing around the internet, I also found a video recreation of I Want My Hat Back which perfectly displays the same emotions felt while reading it.

 

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Image Via Goodreads

 

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Image Via Gallery Nucleus

 

You can use feel the tension in the bear and rabbit’s eyes. 

 

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Image Via Pinterest

 

While browsing around the internet, I also found a video recreation of I Want My Hat Back which perfectly displays the same emotions felt while reading it.

 

 

This was the moment that I decided that my gift to future generations of children would be a set of your books. Not only are they enjoyable for children, but also provide just enough entertainment for their adult reading counterparts. I spent the rest of the night reading all of your work and have never been more content and at peace while reading children’s literature. They were smart enough to get me audibly laughing and they didn’t dumb down concepts for children.

 

Along with your fantastic children’s books, your twitter is absolute gold. A few days ago you shared a series of books from Mia Coulton about a yellow labrador named Danny.

 

 

Another day you retweeted a picture of a very round duck wearing a cute little hat from the account Round Animals and have spread the cute critters to my Twitter feed.

 

 

You have not only shared the joys of children’s literature, but also nuggets of gold on Twitter.  

 

Thank you Jon Klassen for all the joy with which you have provided me, and now my cousins, for the past two years. 

 

Maybe together, we could find a hat. 

 

Featured Image Via PictureBook Makers.