There are quite a few reviews listed that claim that this book glorifies being a snot-nosed brat. While yes, Max is every parent's nightmare at the beginning, and yes, he gets whisked off to this fantasy land with monsters, being bad is not glorified at all. Once he's "Where the Wild Things are," he uses the tried-and-true parent move of having a stearn staring contest (my mom did this w/ me, so that's why I assume it's a common parent move) w/ the other "wilds" to prove that he's boss. Then, as King (parent?), he has to control the wilds, which proves to be too much for Max to handle. Instead of sticking with them, the wilds that "love" him, Max leaves so he can go back to the "someone that loves him very much." The point: After being put in the role of leader and "parent," he realizes that even though he's been a total Crap to his mom, she has always been there for him and has never left him, unlike how he left the wilds. Also, he had to deal first hand with beings that acted the same way he acted towards his mother. Instead of being able to just leave Max, she has to stay with him (well...she's his mom...she should stay w/ him), and he realizes in the end that he's acted unfairly to his mom and decides to clean up his act. At least that's what I saw in the story the first time I read it when I was 5, and that's what I continue to see today, 15 years later.