Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thursday Book Club - Where the Wild Things Are

This week Little Miss 4 has selected Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak for us to review.

One night Max dresses up in his wolf suit and makes mischief of one kind and another, like chasing the poor dog with his fork. His mother calls him a "WILD THING" (we have all been there!). Max is so mad he yells "I'LL EAT YOU UP!". As a consequence his mother sends him to his room without any food.

Max's imagination takes hold and a forest grows and grows in his room, until vines hang from the ceiling and the walls become the world. An ocean tumbles by and Max sails off through day and night. In and out of weeks and almost over a year until he reaches a land full of wild things.

The wild things roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth, rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws. Max says "BE STILL" and stares at them without blinking once and they are frightened so call him the most wild thing of all, making him king of all wild things.

Image from here
Max and the wild things go on to create a great rumpus! Stomping, jumping, swinging from trees. Until Max cries "Now Stop!" and sends them to bed without any food. Max becomes lonely and wants to be where someone loves him best of all.

Image from here

He starts to smell good things to eat from far away across the world, so he gives up being king of where the wild things are. The wild things cried, "Oh please don't go". But Max said "No!". The wild things roar but Max sails away and waves good-bye sailing back over a year and in and out of weeks and through a day and into the night back to his very own room. He finds his supper waiting for him and it is still hot.

Image from here

This book contains great illustrations, also by Maurice Sendak, really allowing kids to live Max's adventure. I believe that it teaches kids there are consequences to their actions as Max is sent to his room without any supper and that imaginations are a wonderful place to play.

Younger pre-school children can relate to Max and his emotions because they have the same feelings; getting angry and imagining being the rulers of their worlds until they calm down and want to be where someone loves them best of all.

I also love that his Mum has put his supper on his table for him, showing him that she would never let him go hungry and he is indeed in a place where someone loves him best of all.

When I asked Little Miss 4 what she liked about this book, she replied, "I like Max's wolf suit and how he found the wild things and become king. Oh, and I also like the pictures".

Where the Wild Things Are was the winner of the 1964 Caldecott Medal as the "Most Distinguished Picture Book of the Year," it was first published by HarperCollins in 1963. It is targeted at 3-6 year olds, but I believe enjoyed at any age.

Maurice Sendak was born on 10 June 1928 in Brooklyn, USA. Sadly, he passed away on 8 May 2012. He has written over 20 books and illustrated over 40. His other books include Seven Little Monsters, Fantasy Sketches and Outside Over There.

Have you read Where the Wild Things Are? What are your thoughts on it?

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