Sunday, October 4, 2009

Let the wild rumpus start!

“When you hide another story in a story, that’s the story I am telling the children.”

- Maurice Sendak

I have always loved books. One of my favorite books as a child was Where the Wild Things Are. It's a fun children's picture book by American writer Maurice Sendak. The book tells the story of Max, a little boy with an "attitude problem" who decides to be rebellious in his cute little wolf costume. Max's mischief gets him into trouble and his mother sends him to bed without supper. Pretending that he could care less, he stomps off growling and snarling. In his room, a mysterious forest of wild and nasty things of which he is the wildest and nastiest, grows out of his imagination. In the  land of the Wild Things he stomps and growls and spreads terror across his imaginary land, and the wild things of Max's world make him king. Max realizes that his stint of wild behavior has left him tired, lonely and homesick and despite the wild things' protests, Max sails back to his own room where he finds his supper waiting for him.

Where the Wild Things Are was awarded the Caldecott Medal, won the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award and was an American Library Association Notable Book. The awards this book received had no bearing on why I loved it so dearly. It was so easy to connect with Max because he and his situations were realistic. Much like Max, we all have bad days, find ourselves in trouble with our mother and faced with our own anger. I can remember times when I too would give free rein to my emotions and fantasize about what I could do if I ruled the world and then of course I would calm down and consider the consequences.

Imagine my surprise when I saw the trailer for the  live-action movie version directed by Spike Jonze, scheduled for release on October 16, 2009. I am so excited. I loved the story as a child, shared it with my own children and now we can enjoy the story again, on the big screen (as opposed to the video that I created of it in my head). It is said that the film adaption is a true depiction of the written story. I can't wait to find out.

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