"LET THE WILD RUMPUS START!": FIRST EDITION OF WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE
SENDAK, Maurice. Where the Wild Things Are. New York: Harper and Row, 1963. Oblong quarto, original half gray cloth, pictorial boards, pictorial endpapers, original dust jacket. $15,000.
First edition, in first-issue dust jacket, of one of the scarcest and most desirable books in modern children's literature.
Hailed as "the Picasso of children's books," Maurice Sendak has produced more than 80 books, of which Where the Wild Things Are is unquestionably the most famous, being one of the ten best-selling children's books of all time. At its publication, critics regarded it as dangerous encouragement for children to explore their darker side. It received scores of negative reviews and numerous denunciations from children's advocates. "But, by some miracle," Sendak wrote, "I won the Caldecott award, which is the highest graphics award in the industry, and almost overnight everyone loved the book." "Sendak's exploration of the realms of the unconscious in Where the Wild Things Are… lifts his work beyond the confines of the children's picture book, and places it among major art of the 20th century" (Carpenter & Prichard, 476-77). With this children's book, "Maurice Sendak expanded the possibilities of the genre" (Zipes et al. C12). First-issue dust jacket, with correct blurbs and no mention of the Caldecott award. Hanrahan A58.
Book with a few tiny stains to boards, price-clipped dust with slightest staining and mild toning mainly to extremities. A lovely near-fine copy.