Where The Wild Things Are

Sendak, Maurice. Where the Wild Things Are. New York: Harper & Row, 1963. Print. 40 pages.

Where The Wild Things Are is a children’s book written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. The book is very controversial and has been banned in many schools because many people think it encourages children to act out, and some of the illustrations may be too scary for young children to see.

“Concerns Beyond Just Where the Wild Things Are” www.nytimes.com

The story is about a young boy named Max who misbehaves and does not listen to his mother, while wearing a costume that looks like a monster. He continues to act out even though his mother told him to stop. His mother then calls him a “Wild Thing”. He then responds by saying, “I’ll eat you up.” He was then sent to his room without dinner. Once he gets to his room a forest begins to grow and he is taken to a place where “Wild Things” are. He begins to rule them and they have a rhombus. Max seems to be having a fun time where the “Wild Things” live. However, Max begins to miss home, and he smells the scent of food.

“Then from far away across the world he smelled good things to eat, so he gave up being king of the wild things.”

He then decides to take a “long” journey home. When he returns home, there is dinner waiting for him in his room. While Max was going on his journey the text says it took him almost a year. However, when it is stated that there is dinner that is “still hot” when he arrives home, it makes the reader question how long he was actually gone or if he actually went anywhere at all.

“And it was still hot.”

Sendak uses an interesting technique to illustrate the book. While Max is in the real world the images do not take up the whole page. However, as the story progresses and Max transitions into the world where the wild things are, the images start to take up more space and eventually take up the whole page. The same process occurs when he leaves where the “Wild Things” are. The last page consists of no images at all and is just text. I think that Sendak does the transitions of images to display Max’s transitions between the two worlds. Another technique that is shown is Sendak’s shape of his lines. While Max is in the real world the illustrations are very clean and are made of straight lines. However, when he transitions into the “Wild Things’” world, there are no longer straight lines and Sendak uses more curved imperfect lines. I believe this is done to show the free flowing nature of where the “Wild Things” live and to show the structure and rules of Max’s mother in the real world

Below shows the comparison of image sizes throughout the story.

“Where The Wild Things Are” www.amazon.com
“Where The Wild Things Are” www.amazon.com

“Where The Wild Things Are” relates to the Metaphysis branch of Philosophy, which is the study of nature and the reality of what really exists. After reading the story a child may ask, “Are the Wild Things real?” “Does the place where they live really exist?” “Can I go to Where the Wild Things are?”

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