A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
A good lesson in the power of imagination.
Positive Role Models
Max is a great model of a boy using his imagination. He misbehaves around the house and is sent to his room without any supper. He also sends the wild things to bed without supper. Perhaps his behavior toward the monsters means he understands why he was punished, making it a touching gesture when his dinner is waiting for him in his room.
Violence & Scariness
Max threatens to eat up his parents and the wild things. The wild things gnash their teeth and pretend to be scary but they have rather goofy, kind faces and Max isn't afraid of them.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are is a classic of children's literature. Although Max misbehaves, the message is one of parental love. This subtle masterpiece of story, writing, and art will have kids asking for repeated readings. Colorful language and a world of imagination make this wild adventure a fun learning experience.
Is It Any Good?
This wonderful book is arguably Sendak's best work -- and one of the true classics of children's literature. Perhaps the most appealing element is the wordless series of illustrations in which, after Max begins the "wild rumpus," he and his new friends dance and cavort through six pages of some of the most whimsical, enchanting, and unique artwork in children's literature. The message of unconditional parental love is reassuring to young ones and a perfect ending to the story.
There's a reason why this won the Caldecott Medal. Sendak's giant monster characters are iconic. While they are described as scary in the book, their faces and lumbering frames make them appear almost jovial. You can almost feel the room shake when you watch them cavort in the forest. Max and his new friends dance and cavort through six pages of some of the most whimsical, enchanting, and unique artwork in children's literature.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.