Books geared for children are often the most challenged. Today’s blog entry is In The Night Kitchen, #25 on ALA’s top 100 list of challenges between 1990-1999. In this case, beloved children’s author Maurice Sendak has raised eyebrows when the stories’ main character Mickey enters the surreal world that Sendak is known for, and loses his pajama bottoms.
The focus of the book is how brave and resourceful young Mickey is when he falls into a mixing bowl full of cake batter and is accidentally baked. By celebrating creative dreams and facing fears, Sendak takes a scary experience for children (spooky sounds from downstairs) and turns it into a wonderfully delightful story for children of all ages. And for the naked boy in the story, is there anybody who has had a little boy that doesn’t run around the house naked now and then?
Some libraries have drawn pants, diapers, fig leaves and even used White Out to cover the parts of the booked deemed offensive. An unaltered copy of the book can be found in the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection – come judge it for yourself.