How Wild is Your Rumpus?

October 29th, 2009

In the post below, commenter Leigh brought up an interesting point about the book, Where the Wild Things Are regarding the wordless pages that follow the line, “LET THE WILD RUMPUS BEGIN!”.  I imagine that every reader does something a little different at this point in the book. Our family typically inserts the phrase – RUMPA PUMPA PUMPA!  RUMPA PUMPA PUMPA!  when we get to those pages.  Leigh said that her family says, “And they say naughty words, ba ba boom, ba ba boom, and they broke mommy’s china. ba ba boom, ba ba boom. And they did the hokey pokey and they turned themselves around.”  

So what do you do when you get to the WILD RUMPUS?  Is it a silent rumpus?  Do you have your own personal signature rumpus?  Surely everyone has a version of the WILD RUMPUS!  How wild is your rumpus?


  • Just Kris:


  • My kids always knew when ‘Rumpus’ was coming. We’d all yell RUMPUS and then the rug wrestling began. Usually it was the first one crying that got us back to the book!

  • Like you I chant,

    Rumpus, Rumpus, Rumpus.

  • Here, too, it’s rumpus, rumpus, rumpus…ad nauseam…

  • Kait:

    Jeez. I seem to have missed some cultural phenomenon. I mean, I read voraciously as a child, well my whole life really. But this book is never one I even ran across. I don’t recall any of my friends having it either. When they started to advertise the movie witht he line “…beloved children’s book” I was very confused. I even took a poll at work and I got one person who had ever read the dang thing. Now I am going to have to go find the book I guess. Good thing the library is close. But the question remains, “do I want to be depressed?” Besides which I busy re-reading all 5 books of the 3 part Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy so I can read the 6th part written by someone who is not Douglas Adams.

  • Erin:

    I NEVER read this book until a week ago – no idea how it eluded me as a child (just like Kait!) and then I happened to find it in a stack of books we’d been given for our kids. So I read it. Not too depressing of a book, my son likes it. But he’s only 2 and a half, so we definitely won’t be seeing the movie for many years!

  • We would tickle and wrestle and attack each other for a while, depending on my energy, and then finish the book. I love that book. Why must they (the evil satanic world government) always make movies of my fav books?

  • So wild that we named our son Max (true story).

  • AngAk:

    I’m with those who never heard of the book, or know anyone else who has read it. odd.

  • AngAk:

    Oh, and it’s still Oct29. not sure why this says Oct30.

  • Where the Wild Things Are is my brother’s favorite book from childhood. I liked it okay, but I preferred the world of Little Bear and Emily or, I don’t know, a zillion others. I know I read it to my kids, but they never owned a copy. And any rumpusing was always silent. I was in charge of reading and Danny was in charge of tickle fights and real wild rumpuses. I do love the book, but I just don’t think I *identified* with it like my brother did.

  • I’ve always been me, so when we’d get there, I’d just want to move on to the next page. It’s about the GOAL, people, not the rumpusing in between!!!! Okay, so the book could still teach me some things. I heard the movie’s okay too. What do you think, Mrs. Reviewer? We’ve had to hide my old book from our son, who’s 3 and a half. He got too scared. WHen do we bring it back out?

  • Nancy in AK:

    It has always bugged me that the author wrote “Let the wild rumpus START” instead of the more melodic “Let the wild rumpus begin.” I always say begin even though the book says start. I like the book and the pictures but I think it could have been written a bit more poetically.

  • Rechelle:

    Nancy in AK – That is interesting. I am sure he considered both words. I wonder why he went with ‘start’. Maybe he thought it was more ‘kid like’. Hmmmmmmm. Maybe some editor told him to change it? Now I have something to think about the rest of the day.

  • Mary:

    LOL – I can’t remember, it’s been years, but I just finisished my son’s (23) halloween costume, it’s is MAX from the book/movie. It’s so cute and he is loving it. 23 and I’m still making costumes? I know I’m a crazy person. Mary

  • Barb:

    It is one of my favorite books. I have 8 kids and raised them all on “Where the Wild Things Are”. Love it.
    The book can be a bit terrifying for small children so when the wild rumpus was going to start, we made it fun and easy and not intimidating. ……and they danced through the night and swung from the trees…

    So my kids loved it.

  • During the blank pages of Where The Wild Things Are…I tell my son, “and they danced, and marched, and swung from the trees”. He’s four…that seems to make him happy. Especially swinging from trees.