Saturday, October 24, 2009

Superlatively Sendak

No big screen adaptation of Maurice's masterpiece for us. Much like I never wanted to see the film interpretation of my much-loved Harriet the Spy (or Little Women for that matter), our family is politely boycotting Spike Jonze's cinematic version of Where the Wild Things Are.

For Darren in particular, the enigmatically illustrated participants in the wild rumpus of infamy are revered---and have been for years.
To tamper too dramatically with my son's minds-eye imaginings based on the Caldecott award winning text originals borders on blasphemy.

Timed impeccably, the folks at Scholastic Storybook Treasures offered to send us a copy of their new DVD release (we had already purchased and nearly worn out their first incarnation) of Where The Wild Things Are & Five More Stories By Maurice Sendak for our review.

We were pleasantly surprised to discover this repackaged presentation has an added read-along function (a facet I like, but in truth, the kids find it distracting), a reading of Wild Things in French and Spanish, and a different, more fleshed out interview with Mr. Sendak himself. Darren often popped in our first DVD of WTWTA to simply enjoy the author discussing the conception of his seminal story and other writings. Our new DVD is providing further insights from the writer himself, and Darren couldn't be happier. Neither could I.
In Darren's words: "This DVD is cool, awesome and fun to watch. When Max hypnotizes the Wild Things it is actually magical."

Watching my children enjoy literary works well-remembered from my youth---maintaining in video form the integrity of the original books---is indeed nothing shy of magical.

As a parent, I give this new and improved DVD a solid, "eat you up I love you so" A...
and thank Scholastic Storybook Treasures very much for our gratis review copy.

How would you like to give your kids---and yourself---the opportunity to enjoy the newly released DVD of Where the Wild Things Are? Leave a comment here along with the title of your favorite book from childhood.
On Tuesday, will select FIVE lucky winners---each of whom will receive a copy of Where The Wild Things Are & Five More Stories By Maurice Sendak!

*You may comment once per calendar day, GOOD LUCK!


  1. My all-time favorite was/is Anne of Green Gables. But from earlier on Dr. Suess's A Fly Went By. As a parent, I finally understand why my mom hated reading that book to me, but I loved it!

    Would you believe I NEVER hear of Where the Wild Things Are? as a child? And I was very well read. Not until college when my sorority used it for it's Greek Week theme. I checked it out of the library for Katie last week and read for myself for the first time. I was really sad that Katie wanted nothing to do with it (because I picked it out and not her). But DVD's ...she does not discriminate. I would love to get her a copy of this to enjoy the original story!

  2. OOOOOH! I am boycotting the new film as well :)
    (great minds think alike )

    My favorite book was Little Mommy (it was a Little Golden book, which I have found and bought for Emma...the original was too worn out from reading to my older girls)

    My FAVORITE to read to the kids now..... Stuart Little :)

  3. I have never read the book and only recently seen it due to the trailers for the movie.
    My favorite books to read as a child were the Curious George books that came with the cassettes to read along.
    And then in grade school, The Ramona Series, by Beverly Cleary. I got started on the books about Ramona and Beezus and then read everything she wrote.

  4. The new film is not one I care to see either despite the love of the classic book. Just not what I picture in my head and seems more scary and less whimsical.

    I know my favorite book as a young child was anything Winnie the Pooh. My mom said I could point out everyone's home in the Hundred Acre Wood on the map in front of the book. As I grew, I read just about everything...loved the Ramona books, Little House books, and many, many more.

    Now as an adult, my favorite books are The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Rainbow Fish (hence, the themes of my children's bedrooms...).

  5. When I was little I always headed right to the Curious George books in the library--my mom says she would try to get me to expand my literature taste, but I still love that little monkey!

  6. We too are boycotting the movie - why mess with a classic, you know! Anyways, what a great giveaway. My favorite book from childhood vary by ages - I think I had a favorite book each year. But the one I love and hold dear to my heart was Three Little Kittens - I still love it!

  7. Ya, I'm not so sure about this new movie either - WTWTA was an absolute favorite of mine, so it seems...strange to see it played out now.

    One of my very favorites to share with the kids is a Sesame Street book: The Monster at the End of this Book. Grover goes through the whole thing talking with "you" and begging you to not turn the pages because there's a monster at the end...and it turns out that it's HIM! Very, very cute story :)

    When I got a little older, my favorite was Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. Hm. I gotta pull that out for my kids! They'd probably like it now...thanks for the reminder :)

  8. I loved everything Oz... All the sequels, anything to do with Dorothy and her long, long legacy. Years later, my mother became the school librarian at my old elementary school and found my name multiple times in the back of The Patchwork Girl, Tik-Tok, Rinkitink of Oz and all the rest. Apparently, I checked them all out about once a year from third grade on.

    These days, I can't wait to share Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer, little princesses and secret gardens with my two. Now, we are loving Goodnight Moon and the Bunny-My-Honey as they learn to turn pages and cherish reading time.