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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Books I Love: Where The Wild Things Are

Where The Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak (1963) is a staple of many homes, classrooms, and imaginations of former children. I, myself, owned a copy of the book as a child. My copy--in fact--was so well loved that it no longer exists, and after several years, I forgot about the book entirely. And though it is not the most relevant piece of media, it shaped my childhood understanding of imagination, and deserves to be my first entry of the "Books I Love" series.

WildThings-cover.jpg (960×860)

This leads me to 2009, when--while sitting in a local movie theater--I saw the following trailer for a book I had forgotten long ago, featuring an awe-inspiring theme song (both are linked below).

As excited as I was for the film adaptation, I waited until it was released in the $1.50 theater before going to the movies. And once it was finished, I couldn't remember why I thought it was so important to wait. The movie warmed and broke my heart. First of all, the voice cast (James Gandolfini, Chris Cooper, and Catherine O'Hara, to name a few) managed to turn the "wild things" into a lovable and fearsome set of characters who seemed to have an almost familial-style love for Max. Catherine O'Hara's voice is the voice I now hear in my head when I read the line "We'll eat you up we love you so" to my preschool students.

Trailer, "Where The Wild Things Are" (2009)


Arcade Fire's "Wake Up" was the song featured in the movie trailer, and I instantly fell in love. I actually got the idea to write this blog because I recently stumbled across a mix-CD I burned several years ago, which included "Wake Up." As I listened, I remembered the movie trailer, then the movie, and finally the book that started it all. And these are the kinds of memories that I want to keep as long as possible. I want to share them with my son some day. I listened to the song continuously for the next half-hour of driving just reliving the sweet, dreamy feeling I experienced the first time I heard it.

"Wake Up" by Arcade Fire (2008)


Lastly, as a sort of "P.S." to this article, apparently Alt-J's song "Breezeblocks" was at least in part an homage to Sendak's work. Obviously referring to the "urge to run away" from a loved on--not so much about the cheating and possible murder. The video is definitely worth a look.

I can't wait until my Sweet Baby is old enough to be able to read this book with me. I can see so much of Max in my son--the unintentional destructiveness and little-boy wildness, and the book's message of never-ending imagination evokes a warm feeling I can't wait to pass along.

This was never intended to be a blog for reviews, or critiques, but rather as another way for me to document all of the songs, movies, books, pictures, etc, which helped shape who I am, and brought me countless hours of joy during my childhood. As such, I sincerely hope you enjoyed this walk down memory lane.

CHALLENGE: At some point this week, think about and find a favorite book from your childhood. Then comment below. I'd love to build a library for my son and I need suggestions :)


Sincerely,

Your Devoted Friend

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