"And now," cried Max, "let the wild rumpus start!": First Edition of Where the Wild Things Are; Signed by Maurice Sendak with a Drawing Of Mickey Mouse
Where the Wild Things Are.
Item Number: 81145
New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1963.
First edition in the first-issue dust jacket of one of the scarcest and most desirable books in modern children’s literature. Oblong quarto, original cloth backed pictorial paper boards. Inscribed by Maurice Sendak with a drawing of Mickey Mouse on the half-title page, “For David, Hi! Maurice Sendak May ’80.” It was Walt Disney’s 1940 feature film Fantasia, starring Mickey Mouse, that inspired 12-year old Maurice Sendak to become a cartoonist. Born the same year that the famous anthropomorphic cartoon character made his first appearance in the the 1928 short film Steamboat Willie, Sendak described Mickey Mouse as “the emblem of happiness and funniness [and] the little brother I always wanted” (Romano, 2012). One of the most avid collectors of Mickey Mouse memorabilia, Sendak has noted that early appearances of Mickey in both film and collectible figurines had teeth, which were later omitted as his character became more popular and his more cruel tendencies were transferred to other characters. Sendak’s characters, with plenty of teeth, came to embody not just the adorable and benevolent, but the frightening and dangerous; evoking feelings in the children who read his stories quite unlike those encouraged by the typical illustrated children’s tale. Fine in a near fine first-issue dust jacket. This is the correct first state of the dust jacket with no mention of the Caldecott award, and a $3.50 price at top of front flap. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. An exceptional example, rare and desirable in this condition and with a drawing of the character that inspired Sendak’s career, Mickey Mouse.
Hailed as "the Picasso of children's books," Maurice Sendak produced more than 85 books, of which Where the Wild Things Are is undeniably the most famous, being one of the ten best-selling children's books of all time. "Wild Things!' When Max's sojourn among them unfolded in kinematic splendor in 1963, adults trembled and children reveled. Reaching back into his own Brooklyn childhood, Sendak created the enduring child-hero Max, who overcomes his fears and achieves catharsis in a colorful fantasy tableau. The book was awarded the 1964 Caldecott Medal by the American Library Association" (NYPL Books of the Century 212). Basis for the 2009 film directed by Spike Jonze starring Max Records and features the voices of James Gandolfini, Paul Dano, Lauren Ambrose, Forest Whitaker, Catherine O'Hara, and Chris Cooper.