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Where the Wild Things Are Book

Where the Wild Things Are

The Where the Wild Things Are book has remained one of the most popular children's stories for more than 40 years.

About Where the Wild Things Are

Written in 1963, Where the Wild Things Are is the best known children's book by Maurice Sendak. It tells the story of a young boy named Max who is sent to bed without his supper as a punishment for misbehaving throughout the day. Max is a very creative child loves to wear a wolf costume. While playing in his room, he imagines a dark forest where the Wild Things live. They are fierce and scary monsters, but Max tames them by being brave. He is named "the King of All Wild Things."

While one might expect Max to want to live in the land of the Wild Things forever, he soon becomes lonely and homesick. He decides to return to his family. Max finds his supper waiting for him, still hot.

Awards Where the Wild Things Are has received include:

  • The Caldecott Medal
  • The Boston Globe-Horn Book Award
  • Named an American Library Association Notable Book

Too Scary for Children?

Although Where the Wild Things Are is one of the most popular children's books of all time, a number of children throughout the years have found the book to be quite scary. In fact, when the book was first released, librarians and booksellers were hesitant to stock it because they thought it was too dark to be appropriate for children. The story is recommended for children ages 4-8, but parents of youngsters who are afraid of monsters may want to wait until their kids are a bit older before introducing Where the Wild Things Are.Interestingly enough, the Where the Wild Things Are book was originally supposed to feature a land filled with horses. The creatures in the land of the Wild Things were turned into monsters after it was discovered that Maurice Sendak did not draw horses very well.

Popular Culture Significance

Loved by both children and adults alike, the Where the Wild Things Are book has spawned a host of merchandise commemorating the story. For example:

  • Stuffed animals
  • Puppets
  • Puzzles
  • Hats
  • Jewelry
  • T-shirts
  • Pencils
  • Folders
  • Notebooks
  • Backpacks
  • Collectible figurines

Scholastic Storybook Treasures DVD

Scholastic Storybook Treasures, a series of animated adaptations of popular children's books, has a Where the Wild Things Are...and 5 More Stories by Maurice Sendak DVD that is the perfect gift for fans of this story. Children can read along with their favorite story and learn more about other Maurice Sendak books, including The Nutshell Kids and In the Night Kitchen. The DVD is available individually or as part of several larger Scholastic Storybook Treasures DVD collections.

Movie Adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are Book

Over the years, many people have expressed interest in a movie adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are. However, Maurice Sendak declined all proposals until director Spike Jonze approached him. Even though the movie adaptation has been delayed several times and the subject of many creative disputes between those involved with project, Maurice Sendak has declared in multiple interviews that he is "thrilled" with how the film turned out.

The movie adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are stars Max Records as Max and Catherine Keener as his mother. Lauren Ambrose, Chris Cooper, James Gandolfini, Catherine O'Hara, Paul Dano, and Forest Whitaker are some of the many actors lending their talents to the voices of the Wild Things. Legendary author Dave Eggers adapted the story for a screenplay. Maurice Sendak was a producer for the film.

The film version of Where the Wild Things Are was released on October 16, 2009. You can visit the movie's Web site to see a trailer and photos from the production process.

Where the Wild Things Are Book