Where the Wild Things Are


Sendak, Maurice (1963). Where the Wild Things Are. New York: Harper Collins.


After getting in trouble for making mischief, Max is sent to bed without supper. A forest grows inside his room, and he sets off on an adventure across the sea in search of where the wild things are. After a long journey, he reaches the wild things. They are frightened of him and crown him king of the wild things. He encourages them to begin a wild rumpus. After putting them to bed, he misses his family and wants to go home. Despite the protests of the wild things, Max begins the journey home. When he arrives, he finds a hot dinner waiting for him.


The story draws in children with a love of make believe by introducing a character who is transported into a world of his own creation. Max’s mischievous side is something most of us can find inside ourselves making him relatable and loveable despite, or perhaps due to, his quirks. Readers are swept along in this fast-paced fantasy adventure and share in his feelings of homesickness. It is a feeling we can all relate to in one way or another, and feeling it at the height of his adventure make him all the more endearing.

The illustrations found in this book are unique. They begin in full color, but they take up only a small square of the page. As Max’s adventure grows, so do the pictures, fully immersing the reader in the world of the story. The actual wild things are shown to be odd in looks but always smiling to ease any sense of fear for young readers. The last page, and its lack of illustrations to accompany the words provides a sense of completeness to the story, a sweet and simple ending to a wild adventure full of stimulation.


From School Library Journal: “Each word has been carefully chosen and the simplicity of the language is quite deceptive.”


Gather other Maurice Sendak books:

In the Night Kitchen ISBN 0064434362

Bumble Ardy ISBN 9780062051981

Kenny’s Window ISBN 0064432092

Gather other classic picture books:

-Eastman, P.D. Are You My Mother ISBN 0679890475

-Brown, Margaret Wise. Good Night Moon ISBN 0694003611

-Keats, Ezra Jack. The Snowy Day ISBN 0140501827

Use as an introduction to a lesson on feelings or apology.

Use as an introduction to an activity where students make their own monsters.

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