Study Guide

Where the Wild Things Are Writing Style

By Maurice Sendak

Writing Style

Sparse yet Melodic

Where the Wild Things Are has just 10 sentences (338 words over 37 pages, to be precise). So there's the "sparse" bit. But don't mistake sparse for shallow.

The book's 10 sentences flow over its 37 pages as smoothly and melodically as Max's gentle ocean voyage. And because several of the sentences span multiple pages, their poetic breaks create mini cliffhangers that spur young readers (and listeners) on. Each rhythmic phrase and clause leads effortlessly to the next, with readers wondering anxiously at each pause what happens next.