Maurice Sendak's children's picture book classic, 'Where the Wild Things Are', has topped the must read list for children and parents for over 50 years, and will continue to do so for many more generations. It encapsulates the experience, imaginations and longings of all children, past and present, with bold and expanding illustrations.
Wolf onesie wearing Max is having a riot of a time being the bad and naughty wolf, takes it too far threatening his Mum, for which he is sent to his room. Confined to his room Max's imagination takes flight, growing a forest in his room, with an ocean to sail across to the island 'Where the Wild Things Are'! Here he is able to frollick with the monsters to his heart's content, and become their king.
And then Max calms and tires, longing to return to the love of his family, and is brought back to reality by the smell of his supper, which his loving Mother has brought up to his room.
It is a context we have all known, both as child and parent, and in Maurice Sendak's work the power of the imagination and love are both made clear, in large bold drawings of the forest and the monsters.
Surprisingly, the pastel tones are muted, rather than bright, and yet the shades and the hatching have the depth and structure to give them the immense power of the traditional etching.
It is a piece of masterly story-telling and construction, with pictures that grow in size and then diminish, set in a confined space that can be transcended by the imagination, and yet in this universe of the imagination, all urges and imagination are trumped by unconditional love.
What more can one say - a classic that will endure! Pure MAGIC!