Tag: Maurice Sendak

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.

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‘Where the Wild Things Are’ Was First Published Today!

There are few books beloved as much as children’s picture book Where the Wild Things ArePublished originally in 1963, the book was written and drawn by American writer Maurice Sendak. Almost immediately upon its release, it found critical acclaim among the literary community, winning the Caldecott Medal in 1964 and selling 10 million copies in the United States, with those sales reaching 19 million worldwide internationally. It was voted the number one picture book in a 2012 survey. Its also been adapted numerous times, first as an animated short film in 1974, 1983 opera, and then as a big picture screen adaptation in 2009, directed by Spike Jonze, starring Max Records, Catherine Keener, and Mark Ruffalo.

 

A small boy sits next to a large monster in the film adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are

Image Via Mentalfloss

 

The story is a simple one, focusing on a young child called Max who puts on a wolf costume and terrorizes his mother. Sent to bed without supper, he imagines himself visiting an island full of monsters where the titular Wild Things make him their king. But Max grows lonely among them and returns home, finding his dinner waiting for him.

 

Celebrate the anniversary of the book’s publication by cracking it open and having another read through. Chances are you already own a copy. Its one of the most famous children’s books in the world for a good reason, after all. Happy birthday, Wild Things!

 

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