Maurice Sendak claims, "I never wrote a book for children. I just wrote a book, and someone else said, 'That's for children'."
I believe him.
This one's for all of us.
A little boy full of energy and life, but also naughtiness, drives his mother to the brink:
“You’re a wild thing!” she tells him and sends him to his room without supper.
The little boy lets himself rage. He lets himself feel his anger because anger is easier to feel than the hurt. His mother’s words are a seedling, and they are dangerously close to taking root in his heart.
With a childish instinct for survival, he diverts his mother’s words to his imagination instead.
“I am the King of the Wild Things!” his imagination crowns him. He is in charge now, processing his feelings in the form of a game. Embracing the identity his mother has carelessly bestowed upon him, even reveling in it. “I don’t care!” his imagination screams. “I don’t care.”
He throws himself into fierce and reckless play, parading around at the head of a throng of invented Wild Things.
But the real boy is tired and hungry. His body will not let him sustain the game. He gives up. He gives in. He crumples. He feels. And he is afraid.
As his consciousness leaves the dream and creeps timidly back into the bedroom to which he was banished, he is afraid of the hunger and the alone.
But what does he find?
His mother has brought him his dinner, and it is still hot.