Where the Wild Things Are is a 1963 children's picture book by American writer and illustrator Maurice Sendak, originally published by Harper & Row. The book has been adapted into other media several times, including an animated short, a 1980 opera, and, in 2009, a live-action feature film adaptation directed by Spike Jonze. According to HarperCollins, the book has sold over 19 million copies worldwide as of 2008.
The book tells the story of Max, who one evening plays around his home making "mischief" in a wolf costume. As punishment, his mother sends him to bed without supper. In his room, a mysterious, wild forest and sea grows out of his imagination, and Max sails to the land of the Wild Things. The Wild Things are fearsome-looking monsters, but Max conquers them by "staring into all their yellow eyes without blinking once", and he is made "the king of all wild things", dancing with the monsters in a "wild rumpus". However, he soon finds himself lonely and homesick and returns home to his bedroom where he finds his supper waiting for him still hot.
The original concept for the book featured horses instead of monsters. According to Sendak, his publisher suggested the switch when...