Of the many books that bring me back to childhood, three really stand out. One I can’t find in print but it was called Phoebe and the Hot Water Bottles. It was about a little girl who lived with her dad who really wanted a puppy, but kept getting hot water bottles instead (the injustice!).  The other two are both by Maurice Sendak. In the Night Kitchen and the better known Where the Wild Things Are  played a huge part in my childhood. They are both beautifully drawn, and really quite surreal (the former features a cast of chefs who all look a lot like Oliver Hardy).  I also loved the musical Really Rosie. This was a collaboration between Sendak who illustrated and Carole King who sang. I know every one of these songs by heart (as will my sons in a year or two).

When I heard that Hollywood was having a go at making a live action Where the Wild Things Are, I was not filled with confidence. The Dr Seuss adaptations have been underwhelming at best, so I didn’t get my hopes up.  The news that Spike Jonze was directing didn’t help, I must confess. However, the trailer is really rather wonderful. Its evocative and surreal, and certainly the Wild Things themselves are tremendous. There is menace in it to be sure, but there’s a bit of menace in the book.

I was already won over, had bought the tickets and the t-shirt when I saw this featurette in which Sendak himself gives his full support to Jonze and the film. The man himself!

That’ll do pig, that’ll do.


31/07/2009. Uncategorized.


  1. John Self replied:

    Dave Eggers, trendy writer-about-town (if the town is San Francisco) and all round publishing good egg, has written the novel of the film. People in Penguin, the publisher, say it’s great. I have my doubts.

    • bethheartscake replied:

      I’ll stick with the Sendak, he’s never steered me wrong so far.

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