Friday, September 5, 2008

Take That Book Haters, Week 2

Look! I'm on time this week with my review for Elise's Banned Book Challenge. For explanation, read here.

On to
Jacqui Reads Her Children Books That Other People Think Are Bad For Them

Week Two:
In the Night Kitchen
by Maurice Sendak

Mickey slides through the floor into the night kitchen, where he gets mistaken for milk, flies away in a plane made of dough, and dives into a milk jug to make sure we have cake in the morning.


My review: This book is weird. It's like Where The Wild Things Are in its dreaminess and fantastic imagination. However, it doesn't have the very familiar emotions that WWWTA has, so I found it a harder book with which to connect; where we know Max and see ourselves in him, we don't know much about Mickey except that he has really fun dreams.

I discussed it with Tink:

TINK: It's fine. I like it. It is funny. The thing I do not like is that at the beginning it looks like they (the bakers) are giants. But they are not, because that is a milk carton, and they are smaller than that. So I don't know what they are.
JACQUI: Tink, this is another one of those books some people think kids should not read.
TINK: Why?
JACQUI: Well, do you see this page?
TINK: Yeah. (has clearly not noticed boy is naked, or doesn't care) What about it?
JACQUI: Well, you can see his penis.
TINK: (giggle giggle) So?
JACQUI: So I guess those people don't think you should, um, I'm not sure. Maybe they don't want you to know what a penis looks like.
TINK: (overcome with giggles)
JACQUI: You know what some librarians did? They put a sticker right there, so kids couldn't see.
TINK: You are not supposed to put stickers in books.
JACQUI: No, you are not.
TINK: It's just a penis. (giggle so hard she snorts)
JACQUI: (to herself) Take that, book haters...

Note: I have since reread this book to Tink. I swear she never noticed Mickey was naked until I said something. Now, on every page, she points and says, "penis!" and cracks up. Sigh.

13 comments:

Sharon Blankenship said...

Jacqui,
I loved the book and so did my kids. They related to the dream-like quality. No one seemed to notice the nudity. I think my daughter commented something to the effect of "Why would you wear clothes when you are jumping in?"
I can't believe the use of stickers. Tink is SO right. Even Michaelangelo knew better.
Sharon

Jacqui said...

Hmm, Sharon. I will have to try again. Maybe the boy will feel differently...

ephelba said...

I love this book so much. I think it's a very good description of many things male, although I couldn't really say because I'm female. Anywho,My son hated- HATED- that book because of the penis. HATED IT! He noticed it right away and said it wasn't right. I could care less, but I understand that it offends some kids' sense of propriety. That said, just because it gives some kids something to think about is no reason to put a sticker on the winkie. That's just silly.

Jacqui said...

Ephelba, interesting. And it was his sense of propriety? Because when you said he thought it "wasn't right" I thought it was maybe because it didn't look realistic enough for him.

"A Sticker on the Winkie" is my new thrash band name.

viabloomington said...

lol - I want to hear that band!

Great post.

Julia (verla's)

Tabitha said...

Go Tink!!

I haven't read this book, but it sounds like something my boys might like. I'm sure my oldest would notice the penis, but I don't think he'd be upset by it. I think he'd just ask me why this person was naked, then be done with it. :) If there was a sticker over it, I think he'd be offended because we don't put stickers in books! :)

Elise Murphy said...

Well, um . . . penises ARE funny!

Amber Lough said...

LOL sicker on the winkie.

Hmm maybe it looks "weird" b/c it's more uncircumcised-looking. I dunno.

Strange how people want to ban books. Do they get high on that?

Diane T said...

I loved, loved, loved reading this book to my son when he was little. Of course the illustrations are wonderful, but the text is so rhythmic and fun to read aloud: "I'm not the milk and the milk's not me! I'm Mickey!" It's loud, boyish, and fun. And who wouldn't like to have cake for breakfast every morning?

Boy must've really loved this book, too, because our copy has crayon scribbles all over it, one of the only books he ever did that to.

Jacqui said...

Okay, clearly I have to revisit this book with Captain Destructo, since so many of you loved it.

See? This is why reviews often mean nothing!

Amber, I think they do. Seriously, I think it makes people feel like they are doing something good for their kids when so much of the time we as parents have no clue what to do.

Diane, now I need cake. Sigh.

Jacqui said...

Thanks, Julia!

Tabitha, Tink was the same way -- outraged by the sticker!

Elise: :) Kind of love how many times I got to say it in this post.

Marcia said...

My review: This book is weird. It's like Where The Wild Things Are in its dreaminess and fantastic imagination. However, it doesn't have the very familiar emotions that WWWTA has, so I found it a harder book with which to connect; where we know Max and see ourselves in him, we don't know much about Mickey except that he has really fun dreams.

This is just how I've always felt about the two books. WTWTA has the universal emotions; ITNK is just -- out there. WTWTA is one of the best picture books ever created; ITNK is just -- out there.

Jacqui said...

Marcia, that's exactly what I was trying to say.