Go inside ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ at a new interactive exhibit coming to Columbus

Fifty years ago, children’s book author and illustrator Maurice Sendak created “Where the Wild Things Are” and a world of scary yet loveable monsters being explored by the Max came to life.

In celebration of his work, an international tour, Maurice Sendak: The Memorial Exhibition — 50 Years — 50 Works — 50 Reasons, will make a stop at the Columbus Public Library. This will be the first place in Georgia to have the work displayed.

The library also collaborated with Hannah Israel, a professor of art and director of the Illges Gallery at Columbus State University, to create an interactive space inspired by Sendak’s most famous book.

“We had a very clear vision of what we wanted this exhibition to be for our community. . . We have transformed our second floor grand reading room into Max’s wilderness where members of the community can come and journey to where the wild things are,” said Tiffany Wilson, community engagement coordinator for the Chattahoochee Valley Libraries.

Within the interactive gallery space, there are cutouts to take pictures with, costumes, rooms and life-sized props inspired by the book. Some of those life-sized props include trees and even a bed in a space that acts as Max’s bedroom.

“We wanted to make sure that the exhibition is immersive and also educational at the same time. There’s a big historical component to the exhibition,” Israel said.

According to Wilson, the library has produced K-12 curriculum guidelines that line up with Common CORE curriculum, and schools in the area can access the online guides. As of Wednesday, more than 40 school and community tours have been scheduled.

The gallery in the Grand Reading Room on the second floor of the Columbus Public Library, 3000 Macon Road, will be open and free to the public starting Saturday, April 13, 2019 through May 25, 2019. Reservations are not required but individuals and groups can reserve a guided tour.

The Ledger-Enquirer is a sponsor of Maurice Sendak: The Memorial Exhibition — 50 Years — 50 Works — 50 Reasons.

Ledger-Enquirer staff writer Mark Rice covers education and other issues related to youth. He also writes feature stories about any compelling topic. He has been reporting in Columbus and the Chattahoochee Valley for more than a quarter-century. He welcomes your local news tips and questions.