University of Washington’s Center for Philosophy for Children
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Title and Author: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Field of Philosophy: Metaphysics; Ethics

Plot Summary: Max is misbehaving and his mother sends him to his room without supper. But then, a forest began to grow in Max's room, and a boat appears to lead him to adventures in the land of the Wild Things. Eventually, hungry and tired, Max sails back home. When he returns to his room, he finds his still warm supper waiting for him.

Some discussion questions:

Do you think the forest in Max's room was real? How can you tell?
What makes something real?
-If you think it's real?
-If everyone else thinks its real?
-If it comes from your imagination?
What does it mean to have a good imagination? A bad imagination? Is it possible to have a bad imagination?
What is the relationship between creativity and imagination?
Can something be real for you and not for anyone else? Can it still be real if no one else thinks it is?

Did the Wild Things love Max?
How do you know if someone loves you?
Can you feel loneliness and love for other people at the same time?
Why was Max lonely when he was surrounded by the Wild Things?