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In the Night Kitchen

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  12,247 ratings  ·  567 reviews
Sendak's hero Mickey falls through the dark into the Night Kitchen where three fat bakers are making the morning cake. So begins an intoxicating dream fantasy, described by the artist himself as 'a fantasy ten feet deep in reality'.
Paperback, 34 pages
Published July 1st 2001 by Red Fox (first published January 1st 1970)
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Jun 03, 2010 Caris rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010
Here is where I go off about censorship.

Where do you get the right, motherfuckers, to alter someone else’s work just because it doesn’t meet your rigid little view of decency? Are we not all naked under our clothes? Must we really be ashamed to see ourselves as we naturally occur?

Children do not mind being naked. We teach them that it is wrong. We teach them this by drawing cute little black underpants on the young male protagonist of an iconic children’s book. We teach children that their nake

I have a confession to make, goodreads. You might want to sit down.

I've been seeing other literary social cataloguing websites.

No, wait, put that plate down. It wasn't because I really wanted to see anyone else. . . it was for my grade. *dodges plate* Wait, wait, let me explain! The thing is, I'm doing a big project on book reviews.

I'm analyzing the rhetorical differences between online book reviews and those published in print.

From meta-reviews to highly negative reviews, to reviews that are
Diane S.✨
I very seldom rate the children's books I read but I made an exception for this one because of how I came to read this story. I am reading Voracious: A Hungry Reader Cooks Her Way through Great Books, and in this book she discusses books and their recipes and her story that plays into them. Anyway one of the books is this one and since I absolutely adore Where the Wild Things Are, and since she said that this is a highly contested book that yearly many want to ban. So that was enough made me wan ...more
Jun 03, 2010 Megan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Megan by: Caris
To the person (librarian, patron, library employee or hippopotamus) who censored this book: you are a jerk, and I hope you realize that scribbling ever so carefully over Mickey's private parts meant you focused more on them than anybody else who's going to read the book. Doesn't that make you the pervert?

Anyway: This book is wonderful. It made me wish I had read it aloud to somebody because there was so much rhythm in the text. Mickey's expressions are great. I can't wait to read this to my kids
Lisa Vegan
Sep 18, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: Chandra & others
To tell the truth, I thought I was going to intensely dislike this book. I’m not a huge Sendak fan. But, I’ve seen this book discussed recently and I was curious, so I borrowed it and just read it.

What a trip! This is a wonderful book. I now get why there is all the fuss (think naked little boys; I guess that’s the objection some have) but I don’t get why there is all the fuss.

This book is so imaginative, funny, a joy to read, and yes, I even enjoyed the pictures. They were a lot of fun. Once a
Revised Review:

“In the Night Kitchen” is a follow-up of Maurice Sendak’s famous children’s book, “Where the Wild Things Are” and has also received the distinguished Caldecott Honor Book Award. “In the Night Kitchen” is also one of the most controversial books in history due to many images of Mickey being naked during his dream trip to the Night Kitchen. This book details the adventures of a small boy named Mickey who journeys to the Night Kitchen and meets three unusual cooks and eventually save
Mar 10, 2014 j added it
Shelves: 2014, nina
Somehow I never read this growing up. I have now read it to my daughter about five times. I have absolutely no idea what the hell this book is on about. "Thanks to Mickey, we always have cake in the morning!"

Uh, well, I tried to be grown-up and open-minded, but I (like some others) was a little surprised that Sendak would illustrate full frontal nudity. More than once. And of a child. So naked children are a bit more common in public than adults (whether intended or not). That still doesn't mean it's right. At least in this society. And in my opinion. So, I found it slightly unsettling, even in trying to put it in the context of a child's dream.

That aside, I didn't like the story either. The child
Any time a book has polarizing reviews, I'm interested as to why. This being a kids' book made me more interested. Seems one issue was the little boy's nekkedness.

That was not an issue for me at all. Kids like being naked. We all have strange dreams. (This book is the little boy's dream.)

What really weirded me out was the three fat bakers. They were creepy. I guess this confirms that I'm not a huge Maurice Sendak fan.... ;)
There are at least 100 and more books that are banned in the United States. Books of all kinds are being prohibited from schools and some libraries. But what’s the reason? Why are they being banned? Should books even be allowed to be banned? These are all questions that need answers.
I think books should not be banned. All subjects no matter how realistic they are should be allowed to be printed and exposed to the world. Reading books that covers certain topics can teach us how to look at the w
Miloš & Brontë
May 13, 2009 Miloš & Brontë marked it as to-read
Shelves: learning-to-read
Brontë: My favourite part was that he finded a way to get out of there, and he gone to sleep is my favourite, favourite, favourite one. And, um, and I love that there was a cake for everyone in the morning. And I like that he had a banana...just kidding...[giggles:]banana slice[more giggles:]. And I love that he got the milk for the bakers. That was really nice. And I love that he really had a piece of the cake. If he did in the real story.

Papa: What do you mean the "real story"?

Brontë: I mean t
Alyse Hayden
I am kind of on the fence abut this book. I had to read it a few times. The first time I read the book I was just all sorts of confused. I did not understand the story line or or why a child would have a dream about being baked into a cake. After reading again, I found that I liked the style the author chose to write this story. The story really flowed and it was creative. However, I just couldn't get over the idea of a child dreaming about being baked into a cake.
This book has obviously been b
Shawn Thrasher
I don't remember reading Where the Wild Things Are as a kid, but I do remember reading - or at least looking at - In the Night Kitchen. I'm sure it was because of the naked kid; I probably hunched over it with a group of other shocked and giggling kids (I remember doing the same thing with Gnomes in fifth grade because a gnome was peeing). Going back to In the Night Kitchen thirty-some years later, that's about the only thing I remembered. Whatever I thought it was about back then I don't know, ...more
This is another book I feel like I had on tape. Then again, maybe it's just that the words have a very strong rhythm, like a chant, that makes me feel like I had it on tape.

Anyway, the story is pretty surreal from the beginning; a little boy falls out of his bed and out of his clothes (to this day I am still surprised that Sendak chose to use full frontal nudity throughout the story) and into a wild city where huge household products and food containers replace the buildings in the skyline.

I a
Charlie George
Nov 14, 2008 Charlie George rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone with tykes
Recommended to Charlie by: Melanie
Shelves: childrens, mindfuck
The only children's book I can give 5 stars, and I'll do it gladly and ask for seconds. It truly is a remarkable, psychadelic romp of a child's dream wherein

a boy named Mickey falls through his house into a fantasy kitchen with giant cooks who mistake him for some milk (milk!) and merrily bake him into their cake. Umm.... Alarm! This is a new situation for me. But fear not! Mickey escapes by fashioning an old WWII prop plane out of bread dough and shows those looney-toon cooks
Jack Kirby and the X-man
It's just way too weird for me... Maybe X-man will be able to explain it too me when he can talk!

Children have fantastic imaginations, and they'll need them to understand this book.

Why are the three bakers clones - and why do they look like Hardy (from Laurel and Hardy)?
How can you confuse milk with a small child?
Why is the oven called a "Mickey Oven" if they didn't mean to bake him?
Who eats cake for breakfast? Well, I suppose children in their dreams!

Do I dare read the final of the "Wild Things
Larry Bassett
Is it possible that this children's book is still banned in some libraries because it shows a naked young boy with a visible penis?
Nov 02, 2014 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading to their children
I remember reading this as a child - how sensational it was to see a boy's penis right there in a picture book! Titter, titter, giggle, giggle. Since then I've read this to our girls. Although they wasted no time pointing out the fact that he is naked, they weren't as scandalized by it as I remember.

I understand there's a deeper, darker underlying story to this book regarding the Holocaust, but I never got that from the book and only recently learned of it from reading an interview with Mr. Sen
Jun 08, 2009 Lee rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Lee by: Chandra
This got three readings on the first go!
Why are we constantly embarrassed by our own bodies? This book is highly controversial because the main character is depicted nude. Many children grow up with low self-esteem and body-image issues because from the time we are reading them these children's books we are subconsciously telling them that their body is wrong or indecent. That is not to say that we should all go around naked, however I think many people are too concerned with nudity.
That aside, this book is very interesting Maurice S
The story teaches how dreams are extensions of our imagination. It also teaches that people, such as bakers, work through the night while we are sleeping just so that we can have freshly baked cakes when we wake up!! : I did not immediately like this story. After reading it a few times, I realized the story was about a child’s use of imagination, something that we as adults don’t often use. Why did Mickey chose a bakery to dream about? Did he live above one and could smell the delicious aroma of ...more
Never mind "Where the Wild Things Are," this was my favorite Maurice Sendak book ever when I was a child.

Mickey, Sendak's quintessential little boy, shouts about the noise as he's trying to sleep and falls out of bed and out of his pyjamas into the Night Kitchen. The kitchen is an incredible cityscape made out of old-fashioned (fictional) food packages, a loving homage in equal parts to Depression-era New York City and to ancient advertisements and food. Three giant chefs, all caricatures of Oli
Cuong Truong
WIDER READING FOCUS: Cooking/Fantasy/Giving instructions

Let your imagination run wild as you follow Mickey’s adventures from the comfort of his bed to the fantasy world of baking bread. Mickey is mistakenly used as an ingredient to bake a gigantic cake, but fortunately is able to escape and rectifies the problem by going in search of the missing ingredients. We follow him in this comic strip style book, which for some reason all the text is in uppercase.
It might intrigue you to know this book wa
Rosa Cline
I'm glad I read this book but won't be reading it again...or at least anytime in the near future. After reading that it was (and still is) "ranked 25th place on the "100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000" list compiled by the American Library Association." (off the Wikipedia site) Although on this list it won several awards for the year it was printed in 1970. So that made me curious. I had seen the short cartoon of it as well, and was kind of shocked as well. The illustrations are g ...more
This is definitely an unusual book. I'm not sure yet how exactly I feel about it and I suspect it will require multiple readings to fully get it. I was a little curious to see how my son would react to the book. (At 3 1/2 he's a bit on the young side for it). He listened with interest, after which however he closed the book and told me he didn't care for it. So, something about this book was unsettling to him. He had a similar reaction to Where the Wild Things Are earlier, where again he listene ...more
Matthew Hunter
Since our almost 3 year old daughter keeps saying "Read the Sendak!" ever since we brought In the Night Kitchen home from the library, it must be good. It's a Caldecott winner after all, and one of the most banned books of all time. The child protagonist spends a significant chunk of the book ... wait for it ... NAKED! Audible gasp! And there's danger here. Three portly chefs with Hitler moustaches try to bake a protesting Mickey into a breakfast cake. This surreal scene becomes even more meanin ...more
As children's books go, this is indeed a strange one.

Micky is a sleeping child who is awakened, and somehow transfereed to a magical 'night kitchen' sans his clothes (hence the controversy). The bakers there attempt to bake him into a cake, but covered in dough - Mickey just won't have it. He finds the bakers milk, and that is why (as the tale goes) we have cake in the morning.

I was confused a bit by this story. The atatomically correct Mickey didn't really bother me (though I couldn't quite gra
I didn't even really notice the nudity because I was too busy trying to figure out what is actually going on in this book. This doesn't make a lot of sense and I don't like the way the text flows but I'm giving this an extra star to counteract the reviewers upset about the naked cartoon child in this book.
Oct 17, 2009 Rob rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents that want to introduce their kids to surrealism and/or magical realism
Recommended to Rob by: Jonathan P. (only not)
Though (perhaps) best known for his [Where The Wild Things Are:], Maurice Sendak gives us a masterpiece of surrealism with In the Night Kitchen. More of a children's book for adults than it is an adult-interesting children's cook, In the Night Kitchen is the tale of Mickey, a young boy who seemingly wakens from a dream to quiet the noisy bakers downstairs.

I say "seemingly wakens" because the narrative that unfolds is clearly a dream with some potent archetypal figures and sequences:

Damera Blincoe
I don't think the butts make this appropriate for storytime, lol.
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Maurice Bernard Sendak is an American writer and illustrator of children's literature who is best known for his book Where the Wild Things Are, published in 1963. An elementary school (from kindergarten to grade five) in North Hollywood, California is named in his honor.

Sendak was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Polish-Jewish immigrant parents, and decided to become an illustrator after viewing Wal
More about Maurice Sendak...
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