// Monsters

I mentioned before that I am currently illustrating two children’s books.

For an illustrator, this is one of the best and most rewarding projects you can do. Not only because you are completely free from the usual more restricted briefs, but you can also let your imagination fly and think from the point of view of a younger version of you.

I am one of those people who loves cartoons, Hello Kitty stickers, fluffy animals and Disney characters, so I guess I have always been in touch with the child in me.

On one of our many e-mail exchanges, one of the writers I am working with reminded me of Maurice Sendak, the amazing author and illustrator behind Where the Wild Things are.

This is a master piece. I love the monsters and I LOVE Max. He is a terrible kid, but I identify with his need to escape even if it’s only for a little while (after all, he does go back home to his mum in the end, and to his supper). The illustrations are very unique. I love Sendak’s very dense use of lines and his “dirty” earthly colors. I also think it’s brilliant that he decided to present Max wearing a wolf costume. Not only does he look adorable, I think it really helps bringing out the monster in him, this wild side that Max finds so difficult to control. I also loved finding out that Sendak named all the monsters after his own relatives. I can’t help but smile when I think of that. What a wonderful touch.

Now, I can’t possibly talk about this book, without mentioning the film.

I know it received mixed reviews but I truly loved it. The art direction and photography are stunning from beginning to end. Max and the monsters are identical to the original characters thought by Sendak, and the soundtrack is the best.

That final scene, when Max and Carol say goodbye to each other, breaks my heart. I find it so moving and symbolic. For me it represents the kid leaving his inner monster behind. Abandoning his wild side. It’s so sad and tragic. I guess it’s what growing up is all about. – But then again, I’m a big softie. I always cry watching movies.

Beautiful film. Spike Jonze can’t really do wrong in my eyes. I’m a huge fan.

Happy Thursday.

4 thoughts on “// Monsters

  1. Joana, querida, completa empatia aqui (menos em relação a ilustrar porque eu não sei desenhar nem uma florzinha, mas, enfim). Este filme e este livro são lindos. O livro eu herdei, é um amor a mais que tenho. O filme me pôs choro em todo o corpo. Que bom este teu post!

  2. Joana, estamos em sintonia: acabei de publicar um post sobre ilustrações de livros infantis. Descobri uma pequena joia hoje e divulguei por lá.


  3. Pingback: Where The Wild Things Are « Literary Legends Quests & Odysseys

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