Where The Wild Things Are

Where the Wild Things Are
Maurice Sendak

Truly, I can’t think about this book without getting teary-eyed. I know its a little cliché to say that this is my ultimate favorite children’s book but really, how could anyone NOT heart this book!? When I was a child of about nine years old, I read this book as best as I could to my younger brother who received it for his fifth birthday; even further, it’s the first book I bought when I found out I was expecting my very own little one. What initially drew me to the book all those years ago were the illustrations, however, I am posting this book for a completely different reason.

Although, I have to admit I am a big fan of Maurice Sendak’s illustrations, the actual plot of the book is really taking on an analogous undertone as of late. You see, my darling little BOOG has taken to tantrum throwing. I won’t go into great detail, as I am certain I am not the only one here with a tantrum throwing 2 year old on their hands, but it can be quite taxing at times to say the very least…… which is why I decided to evaluate this book in an entirely different perspective.

The story is based on not only Max’s fantasies but also on the real life consequences of his misbehaviors. The story goes, one night Max dresses up in his wolf suit and wreaks havoc. He chases the dog (in our case a cat) with a fork (again in our case a misplaced hanger) and is eventually scolded by his mommy who calls him a “WILD THING!” To which Max replies, “I’LL EAT YOU UP!” As a result, his mommy sends him to his room sans supper. A little harsh but after a good sulk with imaginary WILD THINGS, Max learns his lesson. He begins to want to be "…where someone loved him best of all." Max's WILD THINGS adventure ends when he smells his dinner from “afar”. Despite the WILD THINGS’ protests, “Oh Please Don’t Go! We’ll Eat You Up We Love You SO!” Max sails back to his own room where he finds his supper waiting for him “and it was still HOT.”

I love this book even more as an adult because in the end Max comes to grips with his own anger and his piqued feelings towards his mother. In the end, after he succumbs to his brooding emotions by creating a sub-reality where he is crowned KING OF ALL WILD THINGS, Max puts his impishness aside and decides that he doesn’t want to be angry anymore. The hot dinner waiting for Max is proof that his mommy loves him regardless of his misdeeds.

This is particularly appealing to me because it speaks about emotions that are realistic not only to me, but also my daughter. In a sense Max represents a character which any young WILD THING can correlate with. *Especially my Lil BOOG* BECAUSE SHE IS THE MOST WILD THING OF ALL!

The above images were created for Terrible Yellow Eyes (TYE)

“The contributing artists share a love and admiration for Sendak's work and the pieces presented here were done as a tribute to his life and legacy.”

Find out more about the project here.

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