Where the Wild Things Are

by Maurice Sendak

Other authorsMaurice Sendak (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 2012



Call number




HarperCollins (2012), Edition: 25th Anniversary ed., 48 pages


A naughty little boy, sent to bed without his supper, sails to the land of the wild things where he becomes their king.

User reviews

LibraryThing member MeditationesMartini
I wondered after the movie if I'd come back to this and find it a bit too precious, too Spike Jonezy, too obscurely new world order, one of those things you don't have a choice about liking or risk being somehow anti-childhood, shunnable, howling alone to yourself that they don't know that Steve
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Jobs is monetizing their nostalgia or their whimsy somehow if only you could prove it, you crazy. But nope! This is the best, and Emmett loves it, and I may be a crazy, but you know who else is a crazy? My son is, and Max is too, and all the monsters on Monster Island. Let's rumpus!
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LibraryThing member MeditationesMartini
You'd think my inclusion of this child's book would be somehow Niece Luisa/Lulu/Ishi/Izzy/Luisy related, as with the other children's book's on the 'Thing, but dude, she's not even two yet - a bit scary still, hein? No, this was presented and read aloud in PowerPoint form today by Tony Dawson, the
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prof I'm TAing for in an English 110 section with the theme "Monsters." I'm glad, not only because it otherwise would've been a couple years before I (for Niece Luisa related reasons this time) would have got around to revisiting this jewel and remembering that it's an alltime high point of li'l-kid lit, but also because of Tony's commentary on the art: "Well, he's looking a bit out of sorts there, isn't he?" "Those monsters look like they might be fooling with him a little, don't they?" It's that pure-joy observation stuff that good children's stories bring out, and part of why they're always better illustrated; it's children and the past, and the same reason there's always a clown in Shakespeare (although I understand that was actually more of a contractual matter - but fie, away, new historicism!) and the same sort of spontaneous wording of emotion at spectacle that makes something so child- and/or pastlike of modern-day simpletons like Homer Simpson ("He's DRINKING the WATER!" "That boy's got bosoms!") and Sean Connery ("BUCK FUTTER!" - what do you mean that wasn't the real Sean Connery?). This sweet book has it in spades.
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LibraryThing member ASanner
Where the Wild Things Are is a book about Max. Max is a so wild that his mom calls him "the wild thing". Max gets into trouble and gets sent to bed without supper. However when he gets to his room he ends up in a magical jungle where he meets real wild things. The wild things think that Max is the
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most wild thing of all so they make him the king of wild things. However, Max soon grows homesick and misses his mom so he leaves the wild things behind and goes back home to find his dinner waiting for him at home.

I love this book. I have always loved it since I was a child. The art is absolutely amazing. I read this book to my nephew, who is a wild thing himself, and got myself in a lot of trouble because he wanted to be the king of the wild things!

I would have my students draw their own wild things and then together as a class we would make our own land of the the wild things. I would also have students compare and contrast on a sheet of paper folded in half, the things differences in the fantasy and reality of the book. I would have students make a "story map" that involved all the characters from the book and have students think about why Max would want to leave the land of the wild things at the end of the books
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LibraryThing member AustinDW
In this story, the young boy uses his imagination to escape his bedroom. He finds himself in a place with Wild Things, Here he can do anything he wants, but at the end of the story he realizes he misses being back in his room.
LibraryThing member lrflanagan
The story of the boy who's room became an ocean that lead to a jungle where he became king of the wild things promotes wild imaginations excellently. Children need to be encouraged to dream and have vivid imaginations.
LibraryThing member Smiler69
I perused this classic children's book at the bookstore and couldn't believe that I hadn't read it before. It tells the story of a naughty little boy who is sent to his room and imagines himself travelling to a distant land where he encounters scary monsters who declare the boy to be their king as
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he is the wildest of the wild creatures. Gorgeous illustrations. Good thing it's never too late to enjoy children's books!
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LibraryThing member shelbyweryavah
Max is “wild wolf” who nails tents up in his house and chases the dog with a fork. He gets sent to bed without supper for telling his mom he will eat her. His room turns into a forest and he sails to where the wild things are. He scares them and they make him king. They have a wild rumpus, but
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Max isn’t happy. He wants to be with his mom who loves him.

This book reminds me of hiding behind a corner, waiting for a friend, then jumping out to scare them.

This book can be read during Halloween so the students can dress up in their “wild” costumes to have a Halloween rumpus. The spelling words can also be related to this book. We will also design a postor as a class depicting a scene from the story.
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LibraryThing member Mrs.JLewis
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
“Where the Wild Things Are”, is about a little boy named Max that got in trouble for smarting off to his mom. His mom sent him to his room without any dinner and while he was in his room he started using his imagination. He began to imagine trees and
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more trees until he imagined the world around him. As he sailed the ocean for weeks to years, he was journeying to where the wild things were. Once he got there, all the wild things were trying to intimidate him, but he told them to stop and they did. They then crowned him as king of all the wild things. After dancing around, he told the wild things to stop and that they were not getting any dinner then he sent them off to bed. Max started getting lonely and decided to make the journey back home and said his goodbyes and entered back into his room where his mom had left him his dinner and it was nice and warm.

I picked this book because my son liked the scenery and the scary looking monsters, but there is more to this story than those two things. I can relate to this book because many times my children have to be taught to respect authority. As my children realize the importance of not being rude and smarting off, privileges are given back to them. It is sometimes hard to set consequences, but children will realize it is very lonely when they get in trouble (just as Max did).

This book could be used during the first couple of days of school on learning procedures. Teachers can read this book and talk about some of the consequences that could happen if students don't follow the procedures or are disrespectful to a teacher or another student.
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LibraryThing member mingra2
I enjoyed reading this classic book. It was fun to look back and see things I hadn't notice when reading this book before. The picture frames enhanced the story by growing bigger and filling the entire frame as the imagination of the boy grew. There was also foreshadowing because the pictures drawn
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of him in his room resembled the monsters and other objects that were in his imagination. The book was really engaging because the sentences were all run-on. This caused me to continue flipping pages and it pulled me into the story. It was fun to reread this book. I think the big message is to obey your parents and also to exercise your imagination.
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LibraryThing member Jazz2107
This is Caldecott story is about Max. Max was being a Wild thing and he was sent to bed without dinner. When Max went to his room, his imagination took him far beyond his room. Max will sail off and land into the Wild Things. You will have to read the book to find out what happened next. Did he
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ever make it back home?
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LibraryThing member mistywood
This is a story about Max, a boy who is very mischievious. When his mother has had enough mischief, she sends him to bed without eating. He soon begins a journey of self-discovery that leads him back to his own special place at home where his is loved.

This is one of my favorite children's stories.
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I enjoy reading the story and sharing the illustrations with my class. I love the way Max's inappropriate behavior had realistic consequences for his age(going to bed without supper). At the end of the book, he finds his supper waiting for him, but he also finds that the love of his mother will always be there, no matter his behavior choices. I feel this reinforces the fact that children and adults must realize there are consequences for our actions.

In my classroom, I play music and we have a wild rumpus of our own. We create our own class story about monsters, with each child contributing lines and illustrations to the book. We also have a class discussion about making good choices, and the consequences if we choose to make bad or inappropriate choices.
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LibraryThing member TonyaJordan
This book is about a boy who could not stop getting into mischief. His mother sent him to his room while she was making dinner and he fell asleep. The boy then had a dream about going to the land "WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE".

I like this book because it is a book that children love, although it is
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not my favorite childrens book. My children both love it and I have met several others that love it as well. It is a book of imagination and the illustrator does a good job of bringing you into the story, in fact, there are some pages that have no words at all.

In the classroom, I might use this book as part of a lesson about Columbus discovering America, just as Max discovered the land of the wild things, by sailing the ocean. I may also use this story when learning about sleep and dreams.
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LibraryThing member jn925584
Where The Wild Things Are is the tale of a young boy who finds himself banished to his room without dinner as punishment for his behavior. That night a magical forest grows in Max's room and he sets sail on an ocean adventure to where the Wild Things are. It takes him almost a year to get there but
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once he arrives, he tames the Wild Things and becomes their King. Max and the Wild Things have quite a rumpus, but he realizes that all the fun and adventure cannot replace the love and acceptance he receives at home. Max decides to return home, traveling more than a year to get back to his room, where he finds his warm supper waiting for him.

Personal Reflection: This has been one of my favorite books since childhood. I love Max's imagination. I love how he copes with his punishment and eventually comes to realize that being loved is the most important thing to him.

Extension Ideas:
1. Allow kids to design capes and crowns to wear while reading the story
2. Have a "rumpus" (aka dance party) to allow kids to expend some energy
3. Prompt kids to talk about how they feel when they get into trouble.
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LibraryThing member victoria-hill
1964 Caldecott Medal

Use with many grade levels to encourage creative and descriptive writing skills, as well as to encourage storytelling and dramatic play, and compare/contrast brainstorming and writing (between book and movie). Younger students may enjoy making "Wild Thing" masks to reenact the
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story, while older students could describe a picture from the book, or create a "Wild Thing" world of their own.

This book is about a boy with a vivid imagination who gets into trouble and is sent to his room without dinner. He imagines that his room is a jungle, and the wild creatures who live there make him their king. After a while he gets homesick, and returns to reality to find his dinner waiting for him.
This book addresses the issues of imagination and love.

Use this book in the classroom to encourage creative and descriptive writing skills, the ability to 'read' pictures, compare/contrast skills, and storytelling/dramatic play.

This book is available as a movie, as well.
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LibraryThing member kwiggi3
In my opinion, and I’m sure most people would agree, this was an excellent book. The illustrations are what I liked most about it. For example, as Max goes deeper into his imagination the pictures grow from being a part of the page to taking up the entire page. I like this because as the reader
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turns each page they can see how the imagination is growing. Also, I like how the illustrations foreshadow what is going to happen. This is apparent when Max has sheets and tents put in his room to represent the vines and trees when he goes to where the wild things are. Also the reader can see a picture Max drew of the Wild Things in his room before he enters their world. The illustrations also carry a dreamy feel to them; this draws the reader in to make them feel as though they are inside of Max’s imagination as well. Since the illustrations are so prominent throughout the book the text can be kept short. I the writing the author used. She kept the text engaging and well paced by only making it a few sentences, but because there were only a few words on each page the reader must continue to turn the page to keep the text rolling. The main theme or big idea that stems from this book are how anyone can get lost in imagination and create incredible new worlds through that imagination. Also I feel that a message was that it is acceptable to be different and think differently because it leads to amazing things.
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LibraryThing member limeminearia
Most reviews of Where the Wild Things Are do not focus on Maurice Sendak’s sexual orientation. And why should they? Max’s story is not about being gay or being straight. It’s about being little and feeling angry, then feeling big with the power of your anger. It’s about how that power
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eventually feels scary and exhausting and you want to be welcomed back and loved for being, once again, small. Sendak gives Max the chance to act out the wildness inside in a way that is not at all cute or kid-sized, but is actually wild. He could have been afraid of the wild things as they “roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth” but instead he commands them to “BE STILL!” and they “called him the most wild thing of all.” In contrast to the frenetic energy of Max’s “wild rumpus” with the monsters Sendak describes Max’s homecoming simply and reverently. Max sails “back over a year/and in and out of weeks/and through a day/and into the night of his very own room/where he found his supper/waiting for him/and it was still hot.
Sendak has said several times that the book is about family, and specifically that the wild things were a take on the loud, cheek-pinching relatives that would descend on his house. But Where the Wild Things Are may be more about the relatives you never see at all - the parents. As novelist Brent Hartinger points out in his review of the recent documentary “Tell Them Anything You Want – A Portrait of Maurice Sendak” Sendak did not come out as gay until he was eighty. “His parents’ inability to accept his being gay — not to mention his being an artist — is part of why Sendak says in the documentary that he ‘hated’ them. He says they never wanted to have kids in the first place and were terrible at parenting, giving him a miserable childhood…Sendak told the Times that he lived with the same man, psychoanalyst Eugene Glynn, for 50 years, until Glynn's death in 2007. But he never told his parents he is gay and, while they were living, was terrified that they might find out. ‘I don't think I ever stopped beating myself up about [being gay],’ he says in the documentary.” The loneliness that Max feels, the longing to be at home may have been very real to Sendak, not just during his childhood but throughout a lifetime of hiding his personal life from his parents. But the absolution summed up so neatly in Max’s still hot supper, that - more than any monster or voyage - may be the real fantasy behind this classic book.

As librarians, why is it important to know that Maurice Sendak (or Ian Falconer, Louise Fitzhugh, James Howe or Jacqueline Woodson) are gay? Well, you could argue that it’s not important, most of the time. But sometimes readers, whether for an assignment or just because they are interested, may request works by gay authors. Librarians should be able to easily find books in their collection that fit the criteria. The time to be aware of some possible answers to that question is not while the phone is ringing and you have three patrons in line, but as you read and learn about authors from reviews, radio stories and flap copy. If you are making a display of books by openly gay authors it does not do to leave off books by authors who are not just famous gay authors, but famous authors, period. Characters like Olivia, Harriet, Bunnicula, and Locomotion are, like their authors, not just part of one community, but widely known and widely loved.
Sendak, Maurice. Where the Wild Things Are. New York: Harper & Row, 1963. Print.

Hartinger, Brent. “’Where the Wild Things’ Author Maurice Sendak Revisits Monsters in New HBO Documentary.” AfterElton. Logo, Oct. 13 2009. Web. Mar 21 2010.
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LibraryThing member ml445
Where the Wild Things Are is a great book with awesome illustrations. Not only did I enjoy this book as a kid, but I still enjoy the book to this day. It gets children's imagination going. A teacher can do lots of fun activities with this book. There is also a movie about the book.
LibraryThing member Tarakalynn
Little Max decided to wear his wolf suit. After getting into trouble, his mom sends him to his room without supper. His imagination runs wild. His room turns into a jungle, then an ocean with a boat that carries him to a place where all the wild things are. They make him King of the Wild
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Things. But he misses home, so he says goodbye and returns home. When he gets back to his room, he smells his dinner and it was still hot and ready for him.

Personal Reflection:
My son is so imaginative. He can escape to another world just like Max did. Sometimes, I get aggravated at him when I send him to his room for punishment and his punishment turns into a train station. Little boys are wonderful.

Classroom Extensions:
1. Draw what you imagine your favorite Wild Thing would look like.
2. Have the students write a reflection on what it would be like if they were King of the Wild Things for a day.
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LibraryThing member vwhitt
Where the Wild Things Are is a classic children's book that has made a comeback in recent years thanks to a movie that came out in 2009. It's the story of a little boy (Max) who is always making trouble. So much trouble that his mother calls him wild thing and sends him to bed without dinner. He
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then goes exploring in an imaginary land where all the wild things are. There, he is so terrifying to all the wild things that he becomes king of all the wild things. But, he got lonely and wanted to be where he was loved. So max decided to go home where dinner was waiting.

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LibraryThing member toni2012
Where the Wild things Are is a Caldecott medal winner. Max is a little boy who wears his wolf suit and start to acting wild. His mother punishes him for smartin off by sending him to his room without eating his dinner. He imagines his room turned into a forest and he sails off for about a year and
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goes to the land where the wild thing are. He becomes King of all wild things and they all began to act like Max and keeping up losts of fuss and swinging through the trees. He becomes home sick and later returns home to find that his mother has left his dinner in his room.
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LibraryThing member jessica_cassell18
Where The Wild Things are is a book about a boy who dresses up in a wolfe costume and runs rampant through his house. His mother sends him to his room without dinner and upon arriving in his room the boy's imagination kicks in and his room magically turns into the forest. He gets on a boat and
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sails to where the wild things are and becomes king of the wild things, but he soon realizes that he is lonely and wants to be back with his mother. He smells something delicious so he gets on his boat and sails back to his room to find his dinner waiting for him.

I thought this book was really cute! I think it shows the exact extent to which a child's imagination goes and how even when they get mad at you the children still love you!

A classroom extension I would use would be to have the kids pretend they were a certain animal and write a story about where they would go and what they would do. Another I would do would be to explain the importance of family and love!
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LibraryThing member tjsjohanna
Classic picture book - great exploration of kids natures - their "wild" side and the side that loves their moms.
LibraryThing member BlaireEHill
Max, a young boy, is sent to his room without dinner. He is called a "wild thing," and as he is in his room, his adventure takes off, as his room turns into a large adventure that Max embarks upon. The artwork continues to grow, and at the end of the adventure, the artwork shrinks back, as Max is
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shown love by his mother, and is allowed to come to dinner.
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LibraryThing member LaceyM
This has been one of my favorite books since i was little! I love the pictures and the amount of imagination the author had to have to create this place, these creatures, and the relationship among them.
LibraryThing member hem143
As a Caldecott winner it goes without saying that this classic tale features some extraordinary illustrations however, the story which accompanies the artwork is equally as outstanding. An original tale of a hyper young boy who gets sent to his room for acting too wild. It is here where he begins
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his adventure to the land of wild things, monsters which share his rambunctious personality. Unlike any story ever told "Where the Wild Things Are" is a wonderful book of adventure for young children.
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Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

9.24 x 0.43 inches

Other editions

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