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In the Night Kitchen

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  13,682 Ratings  ·  649 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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Sarah I always thought that was the controversy about the book, not the nudity...bakers that looks somewhat like Hitler, baking children, Jewish salt, WW2…moreI always thought that was the controversy about the book, not the nudity...bakers that looks somewhat like Hitler, baking children, Jewish salt, WW2 airplane...(less)
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling1984 by George OrwellAnimal Farm by George OrwellFahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Best Banned, Censored, and Challenged Books
75th out of 456 books — 2,024 voters
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakThe Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric CarleThe Giving Tree by Shel SilversteinGreen Eggs and Ham by Dr. SeussGoodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Best Children's Books
164th out of 3,706 books — 5,288 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Sep 28, 2010 Michael rated it really liked it

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
May 28, 2016 Tatiana rated it liked it
This is such a weird book, but my 3-year old can't get enough of it, constantly singing "Milk in the batter! Milk in the batter!" Why in the world was Mikey in the cake at all?
Diane S ☔
Aug 20, 2015 Diane S ☔ rated it really liked it
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 it was amazing
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
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
Lisa Vegan
Sep 18, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it  ·  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
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
Mar 10, 2014 j added it
Shelves: nina, 2014
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!"

Aug 26, 2016 Amy rated it liked it
Shelves: sweet-petites
Maurice Sendak's illustrations are beautiful as always, but I didn't really "get" the story. Judging by other Goodreads reviewers, I was lucky to get an uncensored copy from my local library.
Apr 16, 2008 Sally rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-book
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.... ;)
Arielle Walker
Sweet, but no Wild Things...
May 18, 2009 3Dyneisha rated it it was amazing
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
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
Shawn Thrasher
May 17, 2012 Shawn Thrasher rated it it was ok
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
Alyse Hayden
Jun 22, 2015 Alyse Hayden rated it it was ok
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
Jun 04, 2008 Maria rated it really liked it
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 it was amazing  ·  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
Nov 02, 2014 Dolly rated it liked it  ·  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 it was amazing
Recommended to Lee by: Chandra
This got three readings on the first go!
Sep 22, 2011 Caroline rated it really liked it
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
Cuong Truong
Dec 20, 2012 Cuong Truong rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
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
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
Rosa Cline
Aug 02, 2014 Rosa Cline rated it it was ok
Shelves: kids
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
Jan 15, 2012 Alessandra rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 17, 2009 Rob rated it it was amazing
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:

Matthew Hunter
Jun 02, 2013 Matthew Hunter rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 20, 2011 Kelly rated it it was ok
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
Dec 20, 2014 Fabulantes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Maurice Sendak pasó de retratar en sus libros el gran sueño americano. En lugar de eso, plasmó en páginas de gran potencia visual el gran sueño de la infancia. Y lo hizo además usando un lenguaje de precisión quirúrgica, que suena mejor leído –o cantado- en voz alta. Paladeando La cocina de noche se siente un irrefrenable deseo de volver a ser niño. De creer en que cualquier cosa es posible y que los miedos son inseparables, y transitorios, compañ
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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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