by Maurice Sendak
Apparently every child likes to be wild sometimes, even the best behaved of them! As it was reviewer Sam’s birthday this weekend I asked him to choose a favourite book for me to review this weekend. He chose Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.
I am guessing many people already have this book on their shelves, and probably even a few of you have picked this book up, flicked through it and wondered why it is so popular. In fact Sam asked one of his grandparent’s to read it to him once and you could tell that Granddad was rather perplexed by Sam’s love for this book.
The illustrations without a doubt are beautiful, but the language and themes in the book throws a lot of adults. In essence it is a story about Max, who throws a tantrum and his mother send him to his room without supper. In his room Max goes on a journey to where the wild things are. He plays with them and eventually rules over them. But in the end he returns home to where he is loved best of all.
The simple language in the book, with sentences sometimes spread out over pages, is clearly aimed at children. And I think many adults do not get the appeal of this book because they have forgotten as a child how sometimes you just want to rage and strike out at things you don’t understand, and how it would be nice for you to be in control, but once you have done that you just want to come home and be loved. Children get this immediately.
So why not return to your childhood and get lost in this book with your children, and become a Wild Thing with them?