Maurice Sendak Where the Wild Things Are

Last updated: June 21, 2019

"Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak is an engaging tale about how children deal with big emotions. When Max is filled with anger over being sent to his room, his imagination creates a whole other world for him to explore. The story and dreamlike illustrations help children to use their imaginations when dealing with complex feelings.

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Product Details

In our analysis of 99 expert reviews, the Maurice Sendak Where the Wild Things Are placed 4th when we looked at the top 13 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

Where the Wild Things Are is one of those truly rare books that can be enjoyed equally by a child and a grown-up. If you disagree, then it’s been too long since you’ve attended a wild rumpus. Max dons his wolf suit in pursuit of some mischief and gets sent to bed without supper. Fortuitously, a forest grows in his room, allowing his wild rampage to continue unimpaired. Sendak’s color illustrations (perhaps his finest) are beautiful, and each turn of the page brings the discovery of a new wonder. The wild things–with their mismatched parts and giant eyes–manage somehow to be scary-looking without ever really being scary; at times they’re downright hilarious. Sendak’s defiantly run-on sentences–one of his trademarks–lend the perfect touch of stream of consciousness to the tale, which floats between the land of dreams and a child’s imagination. This Sendak classic is more fun than you’ve ever had in a wolf suit, and it manages to reaffirm the notion that there’s no place like home.

Expert Reviews

What reviewers liked

Each word has been carefully chosen.
This is a particularly appealing story because Max is in conflict with both his mother and his own anger. Max is an engaging character. His actions, from chasing the dog to talking back to his mother are realistic. His emotions are also realistic. It's quite common for children to get angry and fantasize about what they could do if they ruled the world and then calm down and consider the consequences.
This book, for me, epitomizes the pursuit of imagination. Your kids won’t forget this classic book, either.
Using one's imagination to work through strong, angry feelings can be a satisfying way to calm down. Young readers of Where the Wild Things Are have a surprising role model in Max. Yes, he misbehaves, but his subsequent adventure lays bare his youthful wish to have some kind of control over his world. Here is the push-pull of childhood, when the desire to be powerful battles the longing to be where someone loves and cares for you best of all.
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.
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