For the last few weeks my young son has been expressing a preference at night time for a particular book that is slightly older than his dad. If I don’t read it to him he’ll lean backwards to find it, grab it and hand it to me. He hasn’t got many words in his vocabulary yet but he’s extremely clear about what he likes.
The book is ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ by Maurice Sendak. Is wasn’t part of my childhood but first came to my attention in, of all places, a course for teachers of A Level English Literature. Whilst the book itself mysteriously never made it to the A Level canon, it did reward a closer reading, if only for the ways the illustrations gradually overtook the text.
‘Where the Wild Things Are’ is a book I’ve been reading a lot recently but it stays fresh and allows plenty of room for interpretation (do I stress those internal rhymes, use funny voices for the monsters, ask myself if anyone but me cares, etc.). It’s a wonderful book and Maurice Sendak will be much missed.