““Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak; published by HarperCollins; New York; copyright 1963
1. Awards the book has received: This book has received the Caldecott award.
2. Appropriate grade level(s): This book is appropriate for kindergarten through second grade.
3. Summary: The story starts out by talking about how a young boy named Max dressed up in a wolf costume while causing “mischief.” His mother wasn’t very happy about this and decided she would call him “wild thing.” When Max didn’t respond nicely to this, she sent him to his room without dinner, which he wasn’t very happy about. The book then goes on to say that a forest grew in Max’s bedroom that night, followed by an ocean appearing with a boat to take Max. After what seems like a year to Max, he arrives at the place where the wild things are and they greet him by showing him how tough and scary they are. Max finally told all of them to “BE STILL” and they were all very frightened of him and claimed he was the most wild of them all, anointing him as king. Max and all the wild things began to dance and climb and roam through the forest until Max told them all to stop and go to bed without supper, just like his mother did to him. But Max got lonely and realized he wanted to be with someone who loved him so when he started to smell food, he decided he would go back home even though the wild things wanted him to stay. He sailed back to his bedroom and the story ends with him finding his food still hot.
Review: I think that this is a classic book that many children are able to enjoy. It is very relatable to the children because they often make up stories and pretend to be different things just like Max did. It shows that even if you are mad at your mother or father or whoever, if you left them, you would be sad and want to come home. I think that the story is imaginative and funny for kids who often times like to act like crazy animals or “wild things.” I also think that the illustrations are good and go along with the story of the book. Since they are wild things, I expect them to be dirty and muddy, just like the darker colors of the book. I think that kids really enjoy this book and are able to relate to it very well.
4. Uses in classroom:
-Discuss the main events in the story.
-Talk about why Max might’ve been sent to his room.
-Draw an adventure that you would like to go on.
-Act out scenes and pretend to be “wild things.”
-Talk about different punctuation and capital letters and how that changes the meaning of the words.”