Was Where the Wild Things Are Originally Where the Wild HORSES Are?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends related to children’s literature and whether they are true or false.

CHILDREN’S LITERATURE URBAN LEGEND: Where the Wild Things Are was originally Where the Wild Horses Are.

Maurice Sendak had an interesting journey to international stardom as a children’s author.

As an adolescent, he marveled at the Walt Disney film, Fantasia, and he aspired to become an artist from that point on.

Later on, while he was having some success as an illustrator, he and his brother began producing beautiful wooden toys. They attempted to sell them to FAO Schwartz, but were told that, while beautiful, the toys were a bit too pricey. However, they liked Sendak’s design sense so much that they hired him to decorate their windows. It was while decorating windows at FAO Schwartz in the late 1940s that Sendak was discovered by a children’s book editor (Ursula Nordstrom, who would become a major part of Sendak’s professional life) who saw that his style lent itself beautifully to illustrating children’s book.

For the next decade plus, Sendak became one of the leading children’s book illustrators.

Perhaps his most famous work as an illustrator was on Else Holmelund Minarik’s Little Bear series of books…

However popular he was as an illustrator, Sendak wanted to do his OWN ideas, as well.

So beginning in the mid-1950s, he started to develop some ideas for books written and drawn by himself.

His first idea might surprise you!
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