An online Little Kids’ Book Club subscriber from Branford, Connecticut, shared that her son Drew’s favorite story is Where The Wild Things Are. After talking to a group of college students we discovered that Drew is not alone. Girls and boys of all ages continue to love and remember this timeless Caldecott Award winning book, written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak back in 1963.
Read on for our list of questions and conversation starters to share with your little ones. If you would like to receive the next Little Kids’ Book Club #7 in 2 weeks, subscribe now.
Wearing a wolf suit, or perhaps wolf pajamas, Max is sent to his room with no dinner. Alone in his bedroom, Max’s imagination transforms his room into a forest overgrown with vines and trees. In Max’s mind…or perhaps in a dream…he sets sail to “where the Wild Things live.” Landing ashore, he encounters imaginary Wild Things who crown him King. Lonely to be “loved,” coupled with the smell of “good things to eat,” Max sails back home. In his room a warm dinner welcomes his return.
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Read and Explore
Ask your child:
-What’s another word for “mischief”? (shenanigans, misbehavior, nonsense)
-Max runs down the stairs chasing his dog. What’s hanging on the wall above the steps and what does it tell you? (A drawing of a Wild Thing by Max, suggesting he thinks about Wild Things, even when he is not in his room. Someone at home must be proud of his drawing too.)
-Do YOU think Max is a Wild Thing? Why?
-When Max’s room turned into a forest, do you think he was dreaming while asleep, or using his imagination while awake?
-When Max first sees the Wild Things from his boat, does he look frightened, confused, annoyed or something else?
-How can you tell when I’m (adult reading out loud) frightened, confused, annoyed, etc?
-Do you think the Wild Things have “terrible roars…terrible teeth… terrible eyes…terrible claws”?
-What does Max’s fox suit have in common with Wild Things? (4 claws on the feet and hands, ears or horns, bushy tail. None of the Wild Things have whiskers;only Max.)
–Do you think Max knew how to sail to the place where the Wild Things lived, or did he just happen upon them?
-Max calmed the Wild Things by saying: “BE STILL…and they were frightened and called him the most wild thing of all.” What words or actions calm you down and makes you still?
-What is a “rumpus”? (commotion, noisy disturbance)
-Look at the Wild Things swinging from trees and making a rumpus. Do they seem scary or terrible? (“Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” A stranger who looks nice, may not be nice. Someone who looks scary may actually be kind.)
-What is “supper”? ( an old fashioned word for dinner)
-Would you want to be “King of the Wild Things?”
–Where The Wild Things Are was originally suppose to be called Where The Wild Horses Are. Much to the book editor’s dismay, Sendak said he didn’t draw horses resulting in the title change and illustrations of imaginative creatures versus horses.
-On June 10, 2013, Google’s daily logo design (on the search bar), featured a mini animated vignette of Max along with other Sendak characters.
-Maurice Sendak LOVED Mozart’s music.
-In 1948 Sendak and his brother tried selling wooden fairytale inspired toys to FAO Schwartz in New York. Instead of getting an order for their handmade play things, Sendak got a job as a window stylist.
–Spike Jonze wrote and directed a cinematic adaptation of Where The Wild Things Are in 2007. It’s rated PG.
This week a special thank you goes to Ava whose mom shared her beautiful blue drawing, inspired by Little Kids’ Book Club #3 featuring Going Lobstering.
Take a minute and email us your drawings and favorite books for future posts. Let us know what you liked best about this week’s Little Kids’ Book Club.
Caryl Frankenberger & Julie Janson email@example.com