Where the Wild Things Are will lead your child on an adventure through Max’s imagination to an island of large creatures known as “The Wild Things”.
Many children will relate to Max, the young boy with a big imagination who dresses in his wolf costume and causes mayhem at home.
Upon being sent to bed without any supper for misbehaving, Max’s room mysteriously transforms into a forest. He sails off to an island full of creatures as wild as he, and tames them by “staring into all their yellow eyes without blinking once”, so Max is hailed ‘king of all wild things’.
After a wild rumpus with the Wild Things, Max finds himself lonely and wants to be where someone loves him. So he decides to return home and arrives in his bedroom to discover a hot supper waiting for him.
Tips for Parents
This book is filled with wonderful, large illustrations, and as there are not too many words on each page, there is a lot of focus on the imagery that let you and your child talk through the details such as:
- Wild Things with claws, horns, beards, sharp teeth, feathers and funny feet
- Max’s wolf suit outfit with a tail, pointy ears and whiskers
- Max’s crown and sceptre when he is king of all wild things
- Max’s changing expressions depending on the part of the story – naughty, angry, quiet, cheeky, happy, serious or lonely
You will have plenty of opportunity to discuss the following:
- Why was Max up to mischief at the beginning of the story and what were the things he did wrong?
- How can a forest grow in Max’s bedroom?
- Point out that Max is not scared of the Wild Things, who are larger and scarier than he is in his wolf suit. He was brave and instead made friends with them.
- How could Max’s supper be still hot after all the time he spent with the Wild Things?
The youngest of three children, Maurice Sendak was born in 1928 in Brooklyn, New York and passed away in 2012. His Jewish family had immigrated to the United States from Poland before World War I and tragically lost many relatives to the Holocaust during World War II.
Maurice grew up enjoying his father’s imaginative tales and gaining a lifelong appreciation for books. He knew from an early age that he wanted to be an illustrator.
First published in 1963, Where the Wild Things Are was one of Maurice Sendak’s most popular books. He illustrated and wrote many other children’s books, including In the Night Kitchen and Little Bear