Where The Wild Things Are

Where The Wild Things Are is a 1963 fantasy picture book. Story and pictures by Maurice Sendak.

This popular children's book was a 1964 Caldecott Medal Winner for the Most Distinguished Picture Book of the Year.

The story is about a little boy named Max.

One evening he is running around the house dressed up in his wolf suit and generally causing mischief.

His mother calls him a "wild thing", to which Max replies that he will "eat her up".

Max's mother then sends him to bed without supper.

In his room, Max imagines a great wild forest, and a sea on which he sails to a place where Wild Things live.

These Wild Things are scary-looking monsters, but Max stares them down, and they make him their King.

But when the smell of good food reaches Max from out of the distance, he gives up being King and sails home in his boat, where his hot supper waits in his room.


Some people complained about Max being sent to bed without supper.  They also didn't like the idea of him having a tantrum. (What kid hasn't done that?!)  It was banned heavily in southern states when first published in 1963.

Some said it gave children nightmares.  This story is very popular with children, so it must not be too scary for them!

If it frightens them so much that they have nightmares, I'd say it may have more to do with the way the book is presented to them than with the book itself.

As for Max being sent to bed without supper, he did have supper in his room, so it's not like he went all night without food.

Over the years, it's been considered to "promote witchcraft and supernatural events", because of the images in the book.  I'm not sure how one could come up with the idea that this book promotes "witchcraft and supernatural events".

Is it wrong for kids to use their imagination?  I don't think so!



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