Thursday, May 17, 2012

Where the Wild Things Are

My favorite book as a child was " Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak . He wrote it in 1963 . I was born three years later in 1966.  I can remember really loving this book in the 5th grade ( I think) . Why I think it was the 5th grade is I remember the library was upstairs and very dark and Woodruff school is the only school ( other than my highschool ) that had two stories.  The librarian even had a little film strip of the book. I remember sitting on the floor in a small group of kinds and watching the story strip.  The library had a distinct smell  - a cross between old books and the yummy cinnamon rolls cooking in the cafeteria downstairs.

 What I find alarming is this is listed as a picture book and just the fact that I discovered it in the 5th grade really points out how much more advanced readers children are today. If I handed a 5th grader a book about a boys imaginary friends and it was a picture book he would probably laugh out loud.  Another interesting note about the book is for a while the book was banned from libraries for being TOO SCARY.

If you've never heard the story , here is a description  of the book from Amazon.

The Story

However, after more the 50 years, what keeps Where the Wild Things Are popular is not the impact of the book on the field of children's literature, it is the impact of the story and the illustrations on young readers. The plot of the book is based on the fantasy (and real) consequences of a little boy's mischief. One night Max dresses up in his wolf suit and does all kinds of things he shouldn't, like chasing the dog with a fork. His mother scolds him and calls him a "WILD THING!" Max is so mad he shouts back, "I'LL EAT YOU UP!" As a result, his mother sends him to his bedroom without any supper.
Max's imagination transforms his bedroom into an extraordinary setting, with a forest and an ocean and a little boat that Max sails in until he comes to a land full of "wild things." Although they look and sound very fierce, Max is able to tame them with a single glance. They all realize Max is "..the most wild thing of all" and make him their king. Max and the wild things have a fine time creating a rumpus until Max begins to want to be "…where someone loved him best of all." Max's fantasy ends when he smells his dinner. Despite the wild things' protests, Max sails back to his own room where he finds his supper waiting for him.

Im not sure why I love this story so much.  The little boy in the story is dealing with all the feelings that kids do even today.  Being rebellious and angry, wanting to be in control yet not  having the emotional tools to do it.   When all is said and done  he just wants to be loved by someone that loves him back. 
There is probably an adult life lesson in there somewhere.  
I like to be in control.
I do get a little rebellious at time.
And.. I like to be loved and the comfort of knowing that no matter what I will always be loved.
And, coming home and finding supper waiting isnt too bad either. 

I havent seem the movie but I think I will put that on my bucket list for the summer - watch " Where the Wild Things Are" 

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