Thursday, 26 January 2012

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

I didn't think that I would be writing a post about Where the Wild Things Are just yet. I figured that it was an older picture book and that Rosie wouldn't really like it. But... she picked it out of the bookshelf herself and then demanded that we read it to her again and again. And I guess I can see why. It features the type of anarchy she loves and it's a relatively simple story, very simple text with incredible illustrations bringing the whole thing to life. I just thought it might be too scary!

It's the story of Max. He's been very naughty and sent to bed without any supper. But while he's in his bedroom a forest grows and a sea with a boat appears and he sails away to the land where the wild things are. He becomes king of the wild things and they have a wild rumpus - which looks great fun! But then Max starts to smell good things to eat and he decides to give up being king and sail back. When he gets home his supper is on his bedroom table - still hot!

I think it's one of the most successful picture books ever and I know it has legions of fans. The recent-ish film was hotly awaited, I did see it and thought it was beautifully done but I don't think it hit the mark with everyone.

What I really love about this book is that I know it will grow with Rosie and she'll probably love it for a good many years yet. The only thing I don't like about it is that it reminds me of the song Wild Thing by The Troggs. I have a very embarrassing memory of trying to sing it in a high school band having never heard the song before. Everyone just collapsed in laughter.


  1. I remember this book from my childhood, revisiting it at school as a Primary teacher. The children loved the atmospheric drawings and it went down well with seven year olds. Lots of lovely hands on drawing sessions emanated from this inspirational book. I still have a copy now and I'm 46. My three year old has enjoyed it too. Our favourite book at the moment is Winnie In Winter - illustrated by Korky Paul. That also is quite an 'older' book but it is such fun visually that Isla can enjoy the pics, seeking out quirky bits. I saw on your other site you were involved with the peppa pig books. We have at least ten and they are practically falling to bits ... great read, great character and great fun.

  2. Yes, I was amazed that my two year old was so keen on this straight away! It's interesting when a book has such a broad age span. I'm certain my daughter will still be loving this when she's six/seven. You can't say that about many books! But WTWTA is very special.

    Oh, Peppa Pig. We're crazy about her here too! Yes, I've had the pleasure of working on a few of the books for Penguin. They're nice to work on because the scripts are really funny and easy to work with.