Reading Where the Wild Things Are with my little wild thing

Where the Wild Things AreI used to read Where the Wild Things Are every day, sometimes more than once, to my son. It was his favorite book.

He was three, but he hadn’t yet left his terrible two’s when it came to temper tantrums. The first time we read the story, its wild (there’s no other word for it), authentic power seized us and didn’t let go until the last page. My son felt it, I felt it.

No matter how outlandish and dark the words and pictures, this story was about something very real to my son and me. Our arguments when I tried to discipline him and grew exasperated, his uncontrollable rage at being sent to time out – all of it was right there on the page. Another little boy and his mommy were doing THE EXACT SAME THING.

When I read, I had to roar my terrible roar and roll my terrible eyes. That was the very best part.

We wore that book out. Some of the pages tore and fell out. I still have our sons’ favorite books, but not Where the Wild Things Are. I looked for it this morning after I found out Maurice Sendak had passed away, but it wasn’t there. Must have been too tattered to keep.

Or maybe my son couldn’t bear to part with it and took it with him when he moved out on his own.

Thank you, Maurice Sendak.

It occurs to me I’ve written two blog posts in a row about books with “wild” in their titles. I think these authors are on to something when it comes to writing about human nature.

Do you have a Where the Wild Things Are memory? Children, grown children, mommies, daddies, anyone, please share in the comments.

Book cover is from Wikipedia.

7 responses

  1. Where the Wild Things Are was one of my favorite books to read for my children too. A few years ago I bought three new copies, one for my son, one for my daughter, and one for my grandson. I also featured the story in a novel I’m writing about kids growing up. It is a classic, and for the ages. Did you see Colbert’s interview with Sendak on his comedy show not long before he died? Hilarious. That’s a classic too.

  2. I loved reading this book to Jake when he was little – I still have it. It was one of his favorites, along with Harold and the Purple Crayon. We read it over and over and over.

  3. I just read this to my nephew last week. We read it once a week (he’s four) but this week I will have to read with especially wonderful power and fierceness so that I know for sure his memory will live on in my nephew and he will know how to roar that terrible roar.

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