Where The Wild Things Are Book Review

Sendak, Maurice. Where The Wild Things Are. Harper & Row, 1963. 40 pages.

Where The Wild Things Are written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak is a children’s picture book that teaches kids that being the best is not what will make them happy. In this book, the main character Max is first introduced to us wearing his monster costume. He doesn’t listen to his mother and is sent to his room without supper. Because of this, he imagines a whole new world within his little square typical bedroom filled with a bed, window, and table. He brews up an island in the world in which the “wild things” reside. When he gets to the island, the wild things dance and climb trees and adventure with Max. They even name Max king. But after a while, Max becomes unhappy. He leaves the island of the wild things and returns home to his bedroom. When he is back in reality, there is a plate of supper on his bedroom table.

In terms on illustrations and text, the format of the book is laid out very nicely in that the book follows a sort of pattern. The illustrations start out in a small rectangle or square portion of a page and gradually get larger until it spreads across both pages and little room left for text. Then, at the end, the illustrations revert back to the original, small size.


From a philosophical view point, one might ask how a child might perceive this type of book or what questions a kid’s mind might raise. Some children might ask “Did Max really go to an island or was he just dreaming?” another might ponder about the use of repetition. Throughout the book one quote was used many times and probably caught the eye of many children who have read this book. The quote says

“And the wild things roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws.”

Overall, this book is a very good philosophical key to showing people of all ages a different type of philosophy through the eyes of what a child might think.