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Where the Wild Things Are – M. Sendak

May 2, 2015

WTWTAA fantasy for infants – a boy’s bedroom turns into a forest and he becomes king of the animals until it is time for tea. Possibly this encourages fantasy, looking at everyday places and seeing something else in them and pretending to be in another place.

A fantasy for infants – a boy’s bedroom turns into a forest and he becomes king of the animals until it is time for tea. Possibly this encourages fantasy, looking at everyday places and seeing something else in them and pretending to be in another place.

It was a very controversial book when it was published in 1963 in America. The outward reason was a concern that the vivid pictures of monsters would frighten children. The underlying anxiety was surely more to do with placing this gloriously anarchic story into the hearts and imaginations of young children in the first place. This is subver­sive literature!

Max’s world is a potent, risky and conflictual place in which to grow up. It is a story about creative growth through conflict.

Max is testing his boundaries against the powers that constrain his choices. There is a battle of wills. Growing up in this world involves the risky engagement with conflicting passions and relationships. Life is wild. There are monsters to be negotiated.

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