Where the Wild Things Are: by Maurice Sendak (1963)
Obviously, I didn’t have this book in 1963 when it was first published (I was born in 1975), but it was easily the most important book of my young childhood. The book tells the story of Max, who after causing chaos throughout his house is sent to bed without his supper. His bedroom transforms into a jungle and he sails to an island inhabited by ferocious beasts. After successfully taming the wild things, he is made their king. Soon, he feels lonely and wants to return home, where he finds his supper waiting for him.
The plot is simple and every child can understand what is occurring (I must point out that I never had to go to bed without my supper). It is the artwork that grabs everyone (it still evokes feelings of childhood to this day). Maurice Sendak is the ultimate artist/writer for my childhood. No children’s books are still as memorable as his. I still have my copy from way back then…box-taped spine and all.
Where the Wild Things Are was a creative spark in my life and began a love for books in general and fantasy in particular. I probably would never have read many of my favorite books, if I hadn’t been introduced to the fantastical worlds of Maurice Sendak. Most of his other books aren’t quite as monumental as this one, but they are still amazing stories with amazing art.