"Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak, one of the first children’s picturebooks to put a child out into the world on his own, choosing his own destiny away from his parents. It is interesting to read theis story to pre school children as their reactions can vary.
Some children look a little unsure, they need time to process this world that Max finds himself in so quickly and without warning.
When the forest begins to grow in Max’s room there are two responses I have recieved and this is what I think they mean:
I love this response. The child is relating what Max can see to a dream therefore assuming it is not real, I mean real in the story, not real in real life but we can see it…you know what I mean.
"how will he get back home?"
It would be easy to assume that this child is anxious and wants Max to be at home, a place of safety. Looking deeper, I think that this child instantly recognises that Max is no longer at home when he sees the forest, unlike the first response where the child thinks he is at home but is dreaming the image.
The second response demonstrates the instantaneous nature of the story. First this happens then this completely new thing happens and we are expected to accept that, and children do.
Almost all children however regardless of the level to which they are absorbed in the imaginary world respond to the request - “let the wild rumpus start!” and proceed to do just so with reckless abandon!