- About the Contributors
- Chapter Abstracts
- The Fundamentals of Children’s Literature Criticism: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass
- Randall Jarrell’s The Bat-Poet: Poets, Children, and Readers in an Age of Prose
- Arnold Lobel’s <i>Frog and Toad Together</i> as a Primer for Critical Literacy
- Blending Genres and Crossing Audiences: Harry Potter and the Future of Literary Fiction
- Wanda’s Wonderland: Wanda Gág and Her Millions of Cats
- A Cross-Written Harlem Renaissance: Langston Hughes’s The Dream Keeper
- Dumbo, Disney, and Difference: Walt Disney Productions and Film as Children’s Literature
- Redrawing the Comic-Strip Child: Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts as Cross-Writing
- The Cat in the Hippie: Dr. Seuss, Nonsense, the Carnivalesque, and the Sixties Rebel
- Wild Things and Wolf Dreams: Maurice Sendak, Picture-Book Psychologist
- Reimagining the Monkey King in Comics: Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese
- Froggy’s Little Brother: Nineteenth-Century Evangelical Writing for Children and the Politics of Poverty
- History in Fiction: Contextualization as Interpretation in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped
- <i>Tom Sawyer</i>, Audience, and American Indians
- Living with the Kings: Class, Taste, and Family Formation in Five Little Peppers and How They Grew
- A Daughter of the House: Discourses of Adoption in L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables
- Where in America Are You, God?: Judy Blume, Margaret Simon, and American National Identity
- Let Freedom Ring: Land, Liberty, Literacy, and Lore in Mildred Taylor’s Logan Family Novels
- “What Are Young People to Think?”: The Subject of Immigration and the Immigrant Subject in Francisco Jiménez’s The Circuit
- “My Book and Heart Shall Never Part”: Reading, Printing, and Circulation in the New England Primer
- Castaways: The Swiss Family Robinson, Child Bookmakers, and the Possibilities of Literary Flotsam
- Tom Brown and the Schoolboy Crush: Boyhood Desire, Hero Worship, and the Boys’ School Story
- Peter Pan as Children’s Theatre: The Issue of Audience
- <i>Jade</i> and the Tomboy Tradition
- Happily Ever After: Free to Be … You and Me, Second-Wave Feminism, and 1970s American Children’s Culture
- Paradise Refigured: Innocence and Experience in His Dark Materials
Abstract and Keywords
This article combines cultural history with the insights of psychoanalytic theory, reading Maurice Sendak's Caldecott-winning and controversial Where the Wild Things Are (1963) in relation to his larger oeuvre. It reviews Where the Wild Things Are as a psychoanalytic treatise in picture-book form. Sendak's achievement in Wild Things comes not only from personal genius but also from his complex engagement with psychological discourse. Wild Things has been embraced as a psychological primer, a story about anger and its management through fantasy; it is also a text in which echoes of Freud are audible. It is furthermore a highly successful experiment in picture-book psychology. The Wolf Man's dream helped make Freud famous and came to signify his expertise, and so too with Sendak's dream of the wolf boy. Queerness, in Sendak's case, might apply to everything about his life and work that is nonconformist, difficult, or melancholic.
Kenneth Kidd is Associate Professor of English at the University of Florida, where he teaches seminars in children’s literary and cultural studies. He is the author of Making American Boys: Boyology and the Feral Tale (2004) and coeditor of Wild Things: Children’s Culture and Ecocriticism (2004).
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