Where the Wild Things Are

The Greatest Monsters in Children’s Literature

Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are celebrated its 50th anniversary over the weekend. Sendak’s tale about a young boy whose imagination transports him to a land full of “wild things” was an early, rare portrait of the dark emotions children learn to cope with. “If I’ve done anything, I’ve had kids express themselves as they are, impolitely, lovingly… they don’t mean any harm. They just don’t know what the right way is,” Sendak said of the book in a 2004 interview. The many monsters in children’s literature have helped young readers face their fears, empowering them — and in some cases, frightening them to tears. Here are 13 of the greatest… Read More

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10 Fascinating Interviews with Maurice Sendak

Maurice Sendak, literature’s deeply passionate curmudgeon, whose grumpiness was matched by a warm and tender spirit, left a “wild” legacy of best-selling books, beautiful illustrations, and words that forever touched his readers, young and old. The author’s birthday is tomorrow. We wanted to celebrate Sendak’s life by revisiting some of his greatest and most fascinating interviews. His candidness, sincerity, and humor will never be forgotten. … Read More

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Words and Pictures: A Tribute to Maurice Sendak

This morning, we were heartbroken to hear of the death of Maurice Sendak, who is to our minds one of the best (and grumpiest) authors of all time, children’s or otherwise. Dark and jubilant in equal measure and obviously aware of the captivating hold that strangeness has on children, his life and work brought joy, weirdness, and beautiful art to grownups and kids alike, including this humble books editor, who at a very tender age memorized Outside Over There in its entirety and forced multiple performances on her peers. To celebrate the great author, we’ve collected a few of our favorite illustrations, paired with a few of our favorites of his quotes after the jump. We hope he found his William Blake-esque “yummy death” — we know he made our lives a lot yummier. … Read More

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A Collection of Incredibly Weird Pop Culture Bras

Once upon a time, we were Google image searching “Pokémon” (why yes, it’s 1998 and we’re a bunch of nerdy 12-year-olds) and a wild Pokébra appeared. That’s right, a bra that makes breasts look like Poké Balls. The discovery piqued our curiosity and a little bit of research yielded the realization that there are a lot of unusual pop-culture bras out there, folks, and it’s our civic duty to round some up and present them to you in one handy collection. If the Pokébra isn’t quite your style, we’ve got everything from Where the Wild Things Are to Vincent van Gogh-themed undergarments. Catch ‘em all after the jump. … Read More

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Arts and Crafts on Film: A DIY Hall of Fame

Film is a big-budget industry, but sometimes even multi-million-dollar projects can use a dose of DIY ingenuity. Usually featured in movies where fantasy or dreams play a major role, arts and crafts can introduce surrealism into a narrative and lighten even the darkest of tales through cut-paper sets, felt sculptures, and cardboard cities. While some directors get their craft on through creative characters that fashion homemade treasures of their own, others incorporate it into their production design. Check out some of our favorite films that boast an arts-and-crafts aesthetic, from such auteurs as Michel Gondry, Miranda July, Spike Jonze, and Wes Anderson, after the jump. … Read More

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Gorgeous 3D Illustrations for Classic Children's Books

If you’re feeling nostalgic for childhood stories, then Jayme McGowan, the creative spirit behind Roadside Projects, is the artist for you!  Drawing inspiration from fables, novels and fairy tales, the Sacramento-stationed illustrator creates gorgeous, kaleidoscopic-hued 3D illustrations. For her Paper Dahls series, McGowan tears the magical worlds of Roald Dahl off the page, depicting scenes from Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and more. She has also taken on Where The Wild Things Are, dabbled in fairy tales with Little Red Riding Hood, and produced odes to Disney’s Snow White and Alice In Wonderland. Relive your adored childhood book memories after the cut. … Read More

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Literary Mixtape: Max from 'Where the Wild Things Are'

If you’ve ever wondered what your favorite literary characters might be listening to while they save the world/contemplate existence/get into trouble, or hallucinated a soundtrack to go along with your favorite novels, well, us too. But wonder no more! Here, we sneak a look at the hypothetical iPods of some of literature’s most interesting characters. What would be on the personal playlists of Holden Caulfield or Elizabeth Bennett, Huck Finn or Harry Potter, Tintin or Humbert Humbert? Something revealing, we bet. Or at least something danceable. Read on for a cozy reading soundtrack, character study, or yet another way to emulate your favorite literary hero. This week: Maurice Sendak’s ultimate wild child, Max. … Read More

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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. Bill Murray will play FDR in an adaptation of the BBC radio play Hyde Park On the Hudson, which recounts the story of the president’s love affair with his distant cousin, Margaret Stuckley; the film will be directed by Morning Glory’s Roger Michell. [via Vulture]

2. Charlie Sheen and Snoop Dogg have… Read More

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Spike Jonze’s Maurice Sendak Doc: Tell Them Anything You Want

With his Maurice Sendak opus Where the Wild Things Are set for DVD release on Tuesday, Spike Jonze took an evening to promote its splendid companion piece, Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait Of Maurice Sendak, due out the same day courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories. The fleet, 40-minute documentary, which originally aired on HBO last fall, is all about the octogenarian Sendak, eliding conversations that Jonze and co-director Lance Bangs had at chez Maurice over the past couple of years. It feels like a running dialogue with the illustrator extraordinaire, engaging you with the this-and-that of a remarkable life (his childhood, his obsession with death and the Lindbergh baby, his late, half-a-century-long partner Eugene Glynn) as well as how the personal seeped onto the page. … Read More

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The 5 Most Disappointing Film Adaptations of Kids’ Books

Last year was chock full of great adaptations of children’s literature, from Fantastic Mr. Fox to Coraline. And while we’re always curious to see how Hollywood handles the books that defined our youth, they fail at least as often as they succeed. For some reason, perhaps because we made our parents read them to us over and over or because we adored them in our most impressionable years, we take it personally when some director neglects to do them justice. So, in hopes that the filmmakers of the future will learn something from the mistakes of the past, we’ve listed five movie adaptations that were an insult to our childhood and analyzed what we think went wrong. … Read More

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