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Max, a wild and naughty boy, is sent to bed without his supper by his exhausted mother. In his room, he imagines sailing far away to a land of Wild Things. Instead of eating him, the Wild Things make Max their king. Soon Max tires of this and sails home, only to find his supper, still hot, waiting for him. Caldecott Medal winner; ALA Notable Children's Book; New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book; Reading Rainbow Selection; The Horn Book Fanfare Honor List.
The son of Jewish immigrants from Poland, Maurice Sendak was a sickly child who spent a lot of time indoors observing life through an apartment window. Drawing became his escape; he was influenced by his favorite comic books, especially the Disney ones featuring Mickey Mouse. His career as an illustrator began in high school when he drew backgrounds for the comic strips "Mutt and Jeff", "Tippy", and "Captain Stubbs". He also illustrated a physics book, ATOMICS FOR THE MILLIONS, for one of his teachers. After high school Sendak worked as a window designer for the toy store F.A.O. Schwarz and attended the Arts Students League. He began illustrating books for children when he was introduced to Harper and Brothers editor Ursula Nordstrom. In 1960 he wrote and illustrated THE SIGN ON ROSIE'S DOOR, which was based, in part, on scenes and characters from his childhood in Brooklyn. WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE was published to critical and popular acclaim in 1963 and received the Caldecott Medal the following year. The book deals with the imaginary voyage of a young boy named Max to a land of monsters that he conquers and rules over until he decides to return home. Many consider this the first part of a trilogy also consisting of IN THE NIGHT KITCHEN (1970) and OUTSIDE OVER THERE (1981), in which the characters travel to a fantasy world to reaffirm their place in reality. Sendak considers OUTSIDE OVER THERE, inspired by his memories of his relationship with his older sister, Natalie, his most personal work. In the 1970s and 1980s, Sendak became involved with designing sets and costumes for such operas as "The Magic Flute", "The Cunning Little Vixen", and "The Love of Three Oranges". He also wrote the lyrics and designed operas of two of his own works--WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE and HIGGLETY, PIGGLETY, POP! He and writer Arthur Yorinks established The Night Kitchen--a national theater for children in 1990. He was the 1983 recipient of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal in recognition for his many contributions to children's literature. In the 21st-century, he ventured into the world of pop-up books with the well-received MOMMY? featuring a boy who looks remarkably like Max.
"[A] most imaginative and unusual read-aloud picture book, with illustrations that are marvelously detailed....The text has a lovely lyric quality, and the psychological implications are sound but are not obtrusive in the story--rather, they give it body."
"This vibrant picture book in luminous, understated full color has proved utterly engrossing to children with whom it has been shared....A sincere, perceptive contribution which bears repeated examination."
From the Publisher
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE was one of the first children's books to depict the sometimes subversive inner mind of a child. A seemingly straightforward tale about monsters, the story allows readers to deal with their fears of the unknown. Wearing a wolf suit and acting like a wild child, a boy named Max gets so out of control that his mother sends him to bed without his supper. That night Max laughs with delight as his room is transformed into a land inhabited by wild things--monsters almost as wild as Max himself. At first, the monsters try to scare Max, but, using a magic trick to conquer them, he becomes their king. Although Max eagerly participates in the creatures' "wild rumpus," he eventually returns home--where he finds his dinner, still hot, waiting for him in his bedroom. Although some found the jewel-toned, crosshatched pen-and-ink illustrations too frightening for children, WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE was selected by the New York Times Book Review as one of the Best Illustrated Children's Books of 1963, and it also won the 1964 Caldecott Medal.
A naughty little boy, sent to bed without his supper, sails to the land of the wild things where he becomes their king