Many of you may remember a classic children's book, "Where the Wild Things Are," written by Maurice Sendak.
This book is one of those truly rare books that can be enjoyed equally by a child and a grown-up. If you disagree, then it's been too long since you've attended a wild rumpus. Max dons his wolf suit in pursuit of some mischief and gets sent to bed without supper. Fortuitously, a forest grows in his room, allowing his wild rampage to continue unimpaired. Sendak's color illustrations, perhaps his finest, are beautiful. Each turn of the page brings the discovery of a new wonder.
The wild things--with mismatched parts and giant eyes--manage somehow to be scary-looking without ever really being scary; at times they're downright hilarious. Sendak's defiantly run-on sentences--one of his trademarks--lend the perfect touch of stream of consciousness to the tale, which floats between the land of dreams and a child's imagination.
This Sendak classic is more fun than you've ever had in a wolf's suit, giggle-stiflingly funny at times, and even manages to reaffirm the notion that there's no place like home.
One of my favorite things about this book is that the picture on each page gets larger as Max enters his dream. When the "wild rumpus starts" there are no words on the pages, just the wild things.
Then, as he wakes up, the pictures get smaller again. Another memorable part of this book is a quote from the book that goes as follows: "And when he came to the place where the wild things are they roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws . . ."
When I heard that the book was going to made into a movie I couldn't wait to see it. I was curious how a book, that doesn't take more than 10 minutes to read, could be made into a full length movie.
Well, Maurice Sendak and director Spike Jonze did just that. This weekend I had my chance to see the movie and was fascinated with the creativity and imagination used to make a ten minute storybook into an hour and a half movie.
I was intrigued with the characters, costumes, and story. I can honestly say I enjoyed the movie as much as the book. So if you have a chance, step back into your childhood days, and go see a great movie. The movie is not recommended for really young children.
"Where the Wild Things Are" is also a Wii game.
Speaking of books being made into movies. The timeless children's tale, "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" by Ron and Judi Barrett has also been made into a movie. This animated 3-D film is about inventor Flint Lockwood and his food making invention.
When hard times hit Swallow Falls, its townspeople can only afford to eat sardines. Flint Lockwood, a failed inventor, thinks he has the answer to the town's crisis. He builds a machine that converts water into food, and becomes a local hero when tasty treats fall from the sky like rain. But when the machine spins out of control and threatens to bury the whole world under giant mounds of food, Flint finds he may have bitten off more than he can chew. It is rated PG due to brief mild language. I'm hoping to see this movie in the near future.
Where can you find these books?
The Cherokee Public Library has both of these books. So come on down and check them out.