Like many avid readers, Bruce Handy had fond memories of iconic books by Dr. Seuss, Beverly Clear, Maurice Sendax, and other children's authors. But when he became a parent himself, revisiting the kids' books he had been raised with, Handy realized that there was much more to them than initially met his eye. In Wild Things, he rediscovers the classics of American childhood, from fairy tales to The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and explores the backstories of their creators, using context and biography to understand how some of the most insightful, creative, and witty authors and illustrators of their times created their often deeply personal masterpieces. Along the way, Handy learns what The Cat in the Hat says about anarchy and absentee parenting, which themes are shared by The Runaway Bunny and Portnoy's Complaint, and why Ramona Quimby is as true an American icon as torn Sawyer or Jay Gatsby. Profound and eye-opening, Wild Things is a love letter to the stories and authors who have shaped countless children and parents alike. Book jacket.