Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak is a classic children’s book, and one of the most respected stories ever written.
In Sendak’s 1963 book, Max, a little boy in a wolf costume, is sent to bed without supper. So he sails on a boat to a faraway land where he tames the Wild Things, becomes their king, and leads them on a wild rumpus.
Mental Floss recently posted a cool list of Wild Things facts. Here’s a couple of them:
WHERE THE WILD HORSES ARE?
Sendak was working as a children’s book illustrator when editor Ursula Nordstrom (who also did Charlotte’s Web and Goodnight Moon) offered to let him write his own book. He came up with the title Where The Wild Horses Are, which Nordstrom thought was “so poetic and evocative,” according to Sendak. Then Sendak, who was a self-taught artist, discovered that he couldn’t draw horses. When he told Nordstrom his problem, she said in an icy tone, “Maurice, what can you draw?”
“Things,” he replied.
THE BOOK WAS ABOUT SENDAK’S CHILDHOOD
Sendak repeatedly said he didn’t try to write for children, he just tried to write about himself and people he knew. The books were a form of self-expression for him. Where The Wild Things Are was based on his experiences living as a child in Brooklyn with his hard-working father and emotionally unbalanced mother.
“That’s what art is. I mean, you don’t make up stories, you live your life,” he said, adding, “I was not Max. I did not have the courage that Max had, and I did not have the mother that Max had.”