In Maurice Sendak’s classic picture book Where the Wild Things Are, a young boy named Max is sent to bed without dinner after causing mischief around the house. In his room, Max imagines himself sailing to a land of wild creatures who make him their king. However, after a while, Max begins to miss his home and family. He returns to find his supper waiting for him, and the book ends with the famous line, “And it was still hot.” While the book has been praised for its imagination and creativity, it has also been the subject of some controversy. Some critics have argued that the book’s depiction of wild creatures is too frightening for young children. Others have praised the book for its unique approach to dealing with difficult emotions like anger and loneliness. Regardless of its critics, Where the Wild Things Are remains one of the most popular children’s books of all time.
What Is a Wild Thing?
A wild thing is a species of small animal that lives in a habitat where humans and other creatures have neither the right nor the ability to control it. In the words of author and biologist emeritus Paul Eger, “A wild thing is a being that is self-sufficient and free of all control by humans.” The defining feature of a wild thing is its capacity to survive complete winter without food or water. Thus, a snowy owl can survive winter without food, while the typical wild bird may survive winter only with the water supply. At the other extreme, a caterpillar can survive winter without any food at all.
Why Is It Important to Know About Wild Things?
There are a number of reasons why you should know about wild things. First, it’s important to understand our relationships with them so we can better understand ourselves. Second, it’s important to protect them so they can survive in the wild. And, third, it’s also important to learn how to embrace our differences and to recognize others for who they are.
How to Read Where the Wild Things Are?
The first step to beginning to understand Where the Wild Things Are is to read the book. This will not only engage you in the world of cute animals, it will also prompt you to think about the things that make us human. It is important to understand the character of each animal so you can understand their motivations and feelings. This will give you insight into the mindset of your pet and help you understand their environment and its creatures.
More Great Children’s Books
These are the books that have stuck with me the most:
The Polar Pageant – H.M. Warner, illustrated by Walter click here to see this book
The Incredible Mr. Ripley – Arthur A. Levine, illustrated by Arthur click here to see this book
Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak, illustrated by Andresclick here to see this book
The Art of Reading – Robin Sherman, illustrated by Donat click here to see this book
Mrs. May and the Fat Lady – Janice Clamp click here to see this book
The Bottom Line
Do you think you would enjoy being a wild thing someday? If the answer is yes, then read Where the Wild Things Are and you will see what I mean. Not only will you get an insight into the perspective of a wild thing, you will also get an idea of what it is like to be human. If you find the book your favorite, try reading it in more than one sitting to keep from getting bored. The more you read it, the more you will understand it and what it means to be human. When you grow up, you will no longer need to be a caterpillar to survive in the wild. You can be the king of the world. And when you are old enough to take your first sprout, you can begin to develop your skills so you can take over the throne from your underside.