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Where the Wild Things Are Hardcover – December 26, 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 1,470 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Where the Wild Things Are is one of those truly rare books that can be enjoyed equally by a child and a grown-up. If you disagree, then it's been too long since you've attended a wild rumpus. Max dons his wolf suit in pursuit of some mischief and gets sent to bed without supper. Fortuitously, a forest grows in his room, allowing his wild rampage to continue unimpaired. Sendak's color illustrations (perhaps his finest) are beautiful, and each turn of the page brings the discovery of a new wonder.

The wild things--with their mismatched parts and giant eyes--manage somehow to be scary-looking without ever really being scary; at times they're downright hilarious. Sendak's defiantly run-on sentences--one of his trademarks--lend the perfect touch of stream of consciousness to the tale, which floats between the land of dreams and a child's imagination.

This Sendak classic is more fun than you've ever had in a wolf suit, and it manages to reaffirm the notion that there's no place like home. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


"Each word has been carefully chosen and the simplicity of the language is quite deceptive."-- "SLJ.""The clearer reproductions of the original art are vibrant and luminous [in this edition]."-- "H."

Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Lexile Measure: AD740L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Collins; 25th anniversary edition (December 26, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060254920
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,470 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

For more than forty years, the books Maurice Sendak has written and illustrated have nurtured children and adults alike and have challenged established ideas about what children's literature is and should be. The New York Times has recognized that Sendak's work "has brought a new dimension to the American children's book and has helped to change how people visualize childhood." Parenting recently described Sendak as "indisputably, the most revolutionary force in children's books."
Winner of the 1964 Caldecott Medal for Where the Wild Things Are, in 1970 Sendak became the first American illustrator to receive the international Hans Christian Andersen Award, given in recognition of his entire body of work. In 1983, he received the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award from the American Library Association, also given for his entire body of work.
Beginning in 1952, with A Hole Is to Dig by Ruth Krauss, Sendak's illustrations have enhanced many texts by other writers, including the Little Bear books by Else Holmelund Minarik, children's books by Isaac Bashevis Singer and Randall Jarrell, and The Juniper Tree and Other Tales from Grimm. Dear Mili, Sendak's interpretation of a newly discovered tale by Wilhelm Grimm, was published to extraordinary acclaim in 1988.
In addition to Where the Wild Things Are (1963), Sendak has both written and illustrated
The Nutshell Library (1962), Higglety Pigglety Pop! (1967), In the Night Kitchen (1970), Outside Over There (1981), and, We Are All in the Dumps with Jack and Guy (1993). He also illustrated Swine Lake (1999), authored by James Marshall, Brundibar (2003), by Tony Kushner, Bears (2005), by Ruth Krauss and, Mommy? (2006), his first pop-up book, with paper engineering by Matthew Reinhart and story by Arthur Yorinks.
Since 1980, Sendak has designed the sets and costumes for highly regarded productions of Mozart's The Magic Flute and Idomeneo, Janacek's The Cunning Little Vixen, Prokofiev's
The Love for Three Oranges, Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker, and Hans Krása's Brundibár.
In 1997, Sendak received the National Medal of Arts from President Clinton. In 2003 he received the first Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, an international prize for children's literature established by the Swedish government. Maurice Sendak was born in Brooklyn in 1928. He now lives in Connecticut.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
My two sons absolutely loved this book. They liked the idea of going 'where the wild things are' and the book inspired a lot of play in our house. The book nicely balances the child's need for imaginative thinking with a sense of limits, and the pleasures of home. The illustrations clearly make this book great, because they provide a launch pad for this imaginary place. This is one of a handful of books that will bond you with your child for the rest of your lives. Don't miss that opportunity!
Unlike some children's books which are a little boring for the adults to read after the 350th time, I always enjoyed this one because I could think new thoughts each time I read it.
I think this is one of the best five books for children.
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Format: Hardcover
My mother first bought this book for my oldest son. It has endured as a beloved favorite to all three of my boys. I think that children can really identify with Max and his thoughts. When he is sent to his room for misbehavior, his imagination helps him to run away to where the wild things are and collect his thoughts. I believe that the author must remember what its like to be a child and feel like no one understands, and not quite understanding yourself. Ruling the wild things helps Max understand that he just wants to feel loved, and helps parents to keep in mind that such outbursts from children are generally cries for attention--for someone to love them best of all. Mr. Sendak understands children! When you read this book it will transport you back to your own childhood and you will remember that lost feeling of being a child. Bravo, Maurice! You are my hero!
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Format: Hardcover
I read "Where the Wild Things Are" to my first child, a calm, obedient, and quiet child because it was supposed to be a classic. While we both enjoyed the brilliant illustrations and the storyline, I must admit that I -- also having been a calm, obedient child -- just didn't get it. Then I had my second child, a little girl who is a "wild thing."

Over-active children will probably relate to this story more. My little girl is intelligent, imaginative, rarely obedient and brings melodrama to the entire family, just like Max in the book. I began to see the book in a different light. It's the story of a boy who is lonely and angry, and the only way he can appropriately channel his anger is through imagination. The Wild Things are symbols of his wild emotions, which Max tames "with the magic trick of staring into their yellow eyes without blinking once," and he's made king of all wild things. After rollicking wildly in the forest, Max conquers his anger and becomes lonely, only wanting to go back where "someone loved him best of all."

Children who experience these strong - albeit brief - emotions often have difficulty understanding them at first and learn to conquer them to "re-enter" the adult world where they must behave. If you have a child like this, you'll appreciate Sendak's ability to illustrate the imagination and feelings of a child who does not yet have the maturity to express emotions verbally.

I can't wait for the movie release!
1 Comment 37 of 39 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are is a wonderfully presented story for children. The tale focuses on an apparently rowdy youth, Max, who is sent to bed without supper for his rambunctious escapades in the house. Later that night Max dreams of a magical rowdy world where he is king of all things wild and terrible, but eventually Max comes to realize that having everything always go your way lacks any real fulfillment. The incorporation of some values into a beautifully illustrated adventure is sure to entertain any small child while still effectively presenting a subtle message. Thus, a child is not confused, nor presented with a meaningless tale. The pictures have been recognized worldwide and have been presented with the prestigious Caldicott Award for illustrations in children's books. This book is printed in hardcover, a bonus for when handling is to be done by children, and the font is large and separated from pictures to avoid confusion. The author's connection of the textual story to the pictoral story is helpful for children learning to read as well, as it helps to form associations between pictures and words. Widely recognized as a classic, Where the Wild Things Are is a necessity for any small child's library.
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By A Customer on November 9, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Where the Wild Things Are is a childrens' book classic. The fluid, detailed illustration and simple naration of Maurice Sendak makes this book complete. It is the life and imagination of every child, to escape to a distant land and play with imaginary characters all day and be king for a day. Everyone should take the oppurtunity and place themselves in Max's world once in a while, it's healthy to have a imagination and develop a creative conscience.
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Format: Hardcover
One night Max was up to no good: he wore his wolf costume, did mischief of all kinds, and, therefore, was sent to his room without any supper. "That very night in Max's room a forest grew and grew..." until it turned into a thick jungle of trees and vines hanging everywhere. There even was an ocean tumbling, and "a private boat for Max" that took him into the world where the wild things are. The roaring, fierce creatures with yellow eyes, sharp teeth, and claws filled the land of this world. But Max wasn't frightened - he tamed them "with a magic trick", and they made him the king of all wild things.

But soon Max realized that having everything your way wasn't that much fun anymore: "And Max the king of all wild things was lonely and wanted to be where someone loved him best of all." So, Max sailed back to "his very own room where he found his supper waiting for him and it was still hot."

The illustrations are very artistic and helpful to envision the story. The wild things are fierce and untamed, but they are not drawn to be graphically scary. Some of the pages have just drawings without any words, making it a great opportunity for the kids to fill in the blanks.

Maurice Sendak creates a magical world of imagination where children can escape to, the place where the wild things are. The heart of the story is that kids have different ways of dealing with frustrations, but they all have one thing in common - they want to be loved unconditionally, and accepted for who they are. After all, there is no place like home!

Julia Shpak
Author of "Power of Plentiful Wisdom". Available on Amazon.
For more reviews on children's books visit my blog "Julia's Library" at: ForwardQuoteDOTcom
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