Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak must be one of the best known children’s books of all time. My mind’s eye readily conjures up images of my brother going wild when Mum read it, gnashing his teeth and teasing me with his terrible claws. I can only imagine what would have erupted if Mum had instead been reading, Where the Wild Bums Are by Claudia Rowe.
Claudia has taken Sendak’s story and illustrations and adapted them such that the character is not Max in a wolf suit sailing in and out of weeks but Bea in a bum suit on her windsurfer.
True to the original tale, Bea is sent to her room for her wild behaviour (in this case it is her bum that goes wild), finds herself on an over sea adventure, meets the wild things (in this case bums) who she tames and becomes royalty to, and, when she has had enough, escapes to the comfort of home. Words are carefully chosen, as is the style of illustration, to match rather than duplicate the original.
Apparently Sendak’s book was banned from libraries when it was first published, being seen as rude. I wonder whether Claudia might face the same criticism by some. However, I suspect her target audience would approve of the wild bums. What better characters for the toilet-talk fixated preschool-age child?