Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

“Where the Wild Things Are” is a children’s picture book that tells the story of a young boy named Max who, after being sent to bed without supper, travels to a far-off land full of imaginary creatures.

Where the Wild Things Are

Main conclusions

  • Imagination can provide an escape from reality
  • Children need to be able to express themselves and their emotions
  • The importance of being able to return home

Chapter titles or main sections of the book with a paragraph on each

There are no chapter titles, but the book is divided into three main sections:

Section 1

In the first section of the book, Max is sent to his room without supper for misbehaving. He becomes angry and his imagination takes over, transforming his room into a forest.

Section 2

In the second section, Max sails to a far-off land and meets the Wild Things. He becomes their king and joins in their wild rumpus.

Section 3

In the final section, Max becomes homesick and returns home to find his supper waiting for him.

Where the Wild Things Are

Main conclusions

  • Imagination is an important tool for children to cope with difficult emotions
  • It’s important for children to have a safe space where they can express themselves
  • Even when children become caught up in their imaginations, they still need a way to return to reality.

Author’s background and qualifications

Maurice Sendak was an American writer and illustrator of children’s books. He won numerous awards for his work, including the Caldecott Medal for “Where the Wild Things Are” in 1964. Sendak was known for his unique and often controversial style, which challenged traditional notions of what children’s literature should be.

Where the Wild Things Are

Comparison to other books on the same subject

“Where the Wild Things Are” is often compared to other classic children’s books such as “Alice in Wonderland” and “The Wizard of Oz”. Like these books, “Where the Wild Things Are” takes the reader on a fantastical journey through an imaginary world.

Where the Wild Things Are

Target audience or intended readership

The book is aimed at children ages 4 to 8, but it has also become a beloved classic among adults.

Where the Wild Things Are

Reception or critical response to the book

“Where the Wild Things Are” has been widely praised for its beautiful illustrations and imaginative storytelling. However, it has also been the subject of controversy due to its dark themes and portrayal of children’s anger.

Where the Wild Things Are

Publisher and First Published Date

The book was published by Harper & Row in 1963.


  • “The Cat in the Hat” by Dr. Seuss
  • “Curious George” by H.A. and Margret Rey
  • “Corduroy” by Don Freeman

Biggest Takeaway

“Where the Wild Things Are” is a beloved classic that encourages children to use their imaginations and express their emotions.

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