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Where the Wild Things Are Paperback – December 26, 2012

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Lexile Measure: 740L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 50 ANV edition (December 26, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064431789
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064431781
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 9 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,019 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #232 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.


"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.

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

My kids love this book & love the movie.
Michelle R Davila
The book is wonderfully illustrated and has very few words, but I think that is what is so special about this imaginative story.
I bought this book for my 3 year old son, and he loved it from the first time we read it together!

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

127 of 134 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 12, 1999
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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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Forrest on November 30, 1999
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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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By ricky on March 28, 2002
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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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful 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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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Julia Shpak on December 14, 2010
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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50 of 60 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a story of a very bad boy's day of imaginative roll playing and final acceptance of his place in the real world. I love reading it to my little siblings and watching as their little faces lit up in recognition of adventures they had endured during their own periods of bad behavior... Check it out and get it for your brother or your listtle sister. Another MUST HAVE for older kids is the series Why Some Cats are Rascals, Book 2 by Nowiki. Very captivating and touching stories showing the world with cats eyes
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