This Maurice Sendak classic is one of the first books Baby Bear had memorized by heart when he was about 3 years old. It is the very first book he brought to his nursery show and tell. Chicha used to enjoy having it read to her at bedtime, but last time I suggested it for our nightly story she said "no mama I might dream that." So now, we only read it to her when it's daytime. She's just quirky and cute that way.
"That very night in Max's room a forest grew..."
I can imagine some kids getting scared of Sendak's beautifully compelling illustrations. But I think many can relate to his young protagonist Max. He has his naughty moments, gets punished by his mom, but copes by using his imagination and retreating into his own invented world where even fearsome beasts bow to his rules. For a moment, even if it is just in his own head, he has complete power over his life - and he can pursue his adventures in wild abandon. There is a Max in all us. There should be a Max in all of us. This simple classic story celebrates this. If your kids haven't met the rascally but imaginative Max, I suggest a trip to the bookstore.
"...and made him king of all wild things"
About a month ago I stumbled on the Where The Wild Things Are... MOVIE trailer. I was thinking whoever is behind this don't you dare mess it up! Then I am really blown away when I see it's being directed by Spike Jonze. I heart him! Oh... he just happens to have directed Being John Malkovich and Adaptation. And remember the brilliantly hilarious Fat Boy Slim Praise You music video? Directed by Spike Jonze. If you do remember it, Mr. Jonze was even the lead dancer of the Torrance Community Dance Group. Hilarity! But enough fan-girl digression.
Jonze also co-wrote the film adaptation with Dave Eggers, author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. So... Sendak plus Eggers plus Jonze equals this-better-be-a-good-movie. Production was plagued by controversy. It took years. Finally it will be released this October. Baby Bear is hyped. Chicha loves the trailer, but we'll still have to see wether she'd be ready to watch the actual movie.
"Oh please don't go - we'll eat you up - we love you so!" And Max said, "No!"
Here's a cute, related tidbit. Molly over at the We Love You So blog posted their "rigorously analyzed" Top Ten Rascals in Literature. Wild Things protagonist Max wins top rascal, beating the likes of Holden Caulfield, Oliver Twist and Curious George. Of course top prize goes to Max, because We Love You So is a blog about the wild, wild influences of the people behind the big screen version of the Sendak classic. That blog is now a daily habit of mine. Not just because I am cyber-stalking Spike Jonze, okay?
Now here's the trailer. Soundtrack is Wake Up by Arcade Fire. Coolness factor just keeps rising....