Top positive review
10 people found this helpful
on November 16, 2014
I was introduced to this book by my librarian when I was in first grade in the mid eighties. Thirty years later I can still remember sitting with my class on the floor in front of her chair and staring at the pictures while she slowly read about Max's adventure. I wanted to jump into the book (especially when his bedroom turns into a jungle) and explore. The illustrations hold a huge amount of magic for me. So much in fact that I tracked down an old calendar just so I could frame the bedroom picture :)
I do think you should hold off on reading this book to children until you think they can understand its creativity. A few of the elements may be confusing to young children, like why Max is upset and acting out or his interactions with the beasts. Don't dismiss Max as a brat who is just throwing a fit. It's definitely a good opportunity to discuss feelings and behaviors (it's plain to see some of his behaviors are learned from his mom, maybe a message to parents hmmm?)
But still, don't take things to literally, it's all about imagination. I really don't think Maurice Sendak intended his readers to think Max a cannibal; how many times have you heard an adult say to a little kid "you're so cute I could eat you up"?
As a side note, the movie is great but not as light-hearted as the book. There are some heavy emotions and themes in there. It's geared towards a more mature audience so don't let your five year old watch that.