Every Friday I will be talking about some of my old favourites, and this harps back to before I could even read.
Where the Wild things are was originally published in 1963 by American illustrator Maurice Sendak.
According to wikipedia this was a book wasn’t initially very well received by librarians and parents, but the kids loved it and this won the adults over (I am not sure the accuracy of this as it did win awards the year after publication). My mum always said that she was surprised how not-scared I was by the monsters. That said there is a kind of cuddly and playful look in their eyes.
Apparently I am not alone in this being my favourite kids picture book, Barak Obama the last president of the USA reads it to his kids, as I did mine.
Where the wild things are has won several awards, two after publication Caldecott Medal (1964) Lewis Carroll Shelf Award (1964) The other much later Indies Choice Book Award for Picture Book Hall of Fame (2009).
It was originally published in 1963 so that makes it 54 years old, and it is still loved by kids as much as it was back in the 70’s when it was read to me.
There have been various attempts at dramatization with mixed results. The movie made in 2009 doesn’t rate highly (6.8 on IMDB) but not that bad considering the difficulty with making a short picture book into a full length film. You can find the trailer embedded at the end of the post. There has also been an opera. I haven’t seen any of them as I am not a fan of watching movies after reading the book, even if the books only has a little over 300 words.
Here is my favourite you tube retelling of the book, personally I like it with the sound off and double speed.
Maurice Sendak was born in 1928 in Brooklyn, New York and is of Jewish-Polish decent. He trained his illustration skills by doing night classes at The Art Students League of New York. He then went on to work as an illustrator for many years including illustrating two books authored by his brother Jack Sendak in the 1950’s (Happy Rain and Circus Girl). He has also made some other great kids books, Chicken soup with rice which is a rhyming book all about chicken soup and my brother’s favourite In the Night Kitchen (probably because there is some nudity which he though was amusing at four years of age).
If you are interested here is the trailer for the 2009 movie, I think it looks crap though
And please let me know what your favourite kids picture book was in the comments.