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Where the Wild Things Are: 40th Anniversary    by Maurice Sendak order for
Where the Wild Things Are
by Maurice Sendak
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 1988 (1963)
Hardcover, Softcover
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This is one of the classics in picture books, but one that I somehow missed when my kids were younger - which is a great shame as the protagonist is the image of one of my sons, wicked gleam in eye, stubborn expression and all. He would definitely have related to Max, who makes mischief in 'his wolf suit', and is sent to his room. There he unleashes the full power of his imagination.

A forest grows in Max's bedroom 'until his ceiling hung with vines and the walls became the world all around', an ocean tumbles by, and he sets sail into adventure 'to where the wild things are'. Despite their terrible roars, teeth, eyes and claws, they don't intimidate Max one bit, as he's 'the most wild thing of all'. They crown him king and enjoy a rumpus together. But eventually Max wants to be 'where someone loved him best of all', good smells entice him back to his bedroom, and there his supper waits.

Where the Wild Things Are (which won the 1964 Caldecott Medal) deserves its reputation, for its acknowledgement of the rebel in every child, its treatment of the power of imagination, and just as much, its recognition of the need to be loved of even the wildest little one.

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