Let the wild rumpus start!



Max is a naughty boy… A VERY naughty boy. So when he gets sent to his room for behaving badly, he travels to a far off land where wild things live. But he’s wilder than they are and so he becomes their king. And kings can do WHATEVER they want.

This is a Classic. By that I mean it’s one of those books that has earned itself a place in more than one of the Top 10 or Top 100 lists of something or another and which will undoubtedly remain there for generations to come.

It is suitable for naughty children of ages between (about) 5 and 10.

It’s wonderful to read aloud as a bedtime story, with an expressive, lyrical prose that’s just begging for your best voice-talent impressions. Yet it is simple enough that your young audience will be able to join in at key moments.

The story itself is good, old-school fairy tale stuff with all the delicious darkness of Rumplestiltskin, Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood.

None of your saccharine-sweet Disneyfication here; the story is that Sendak illustrated it with characters based on his childhood memories of his relatives – many of whom had survived the Holocaust.

I certainly remember finding the tale a little scary as it developed and the iconic illustrations are close and claustrophobic, dark and a little demented. But don’t worry – it’s nothing a well-adjusted child couldn’t handle and Max gets his dinner in the end.

Let the wild rumpus start!


Reviewed by:

Campbell McAulay

Added 17th June 2015

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Campbell McAulay