Sendak, M. (1963). Where the wild things are. NY: HarperCollins.
Max, dressed in a wolf suit, runs around his house wreaking havoc. After his mother calls him a wild thing, Max tells her that he will eat her up and is sent to his room without dinner. As the night goes on, Max’s room changes into a jungle and then the sea. Max sails to where the wild things are, and he is able to tame them and become king of the wild things. The have a wild rumpus but are then tired, and Max send the wild things to dinner without supper. Max then realizes he would rather be where someone loved him. He decides to sail home where a supper is waiting for him.
Visual Elements of Art:
Maurice Sendak creates an unusual backdrop to Where The Wild Things Are through the use of visual textures. These illustrations make Max and the Wild Things come to life because of the use of layering. The pages in which Max’s room is changing into a forest are a perfect example of Sendak’s layering that cause the room to come more alive with every page. The images of the wild things are also extremely vivid and extremely specific which help create a very pointed perspective.
Where the Wild Things Are is very much a story driven by the illustrations. At many points, the pictures say more than the words, such as when Max’s room begins to change into a forest and when the wild things appear. Without these very vivid images, the book could be perceived in a very different way. Multiple times, images appear without words which reinforces the importance of the illustrations.