"The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind and another his mother called him 'WILD THING!' and Max said 'I'LL EAT YOU UP!' so he was sent to bed without eating anything."
These are the opening lines of one of my all-time favorite books, Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. Sendak died this week and is being celebrated right now all over the place (I like USA Today's article). I can hardly think of my childhood without remembering being read this book on many, many nights before bed by my mom or grandmother. My childhood copy is still at my parents' house, but my grandmother's copy was one of the first things I grabbed when we were sorting through her things after she died.
Chances are that if you're my friend and you've had a baby, this is what I've given you (along with some Robert McCloskey or Dr. Seuss). I have Where the Wild Things Are Christmas ornaments and one of the wild things even provides me with daily inspiration at work (he's really my only coworker).
The book made it into the top 50 on USA Today's Best-Selling Books List for the first time in 2009 thanks to the movie adaptation that came out that year. Since its publication in 1963, Where the Wild Things Are has sold 10 million copies. A childhood favorite for many more than just me.