Tuesday, July 19, 2011

In the Night Kitchen

Sendak, M. (1970). In the night kitchen. New York: Harper Collins Publishers.

This book is on the 100 Most Challenged list.  It was also a 1971 Caldecott Honor book.
* In reading why the book is on the Most Challenged list, I found out it was because Mickey, the little boy, falls naked into the batter.  Hmmmm, my Mickey has underpants on.  On closer inspection, it appears that they have been drawn on, but maybe not. 

Exposition:  Mickey is asleep in bed when he is awakened by a noise.  He yells for the people to be quiet.
Conflict: Mickey falls through the night and right out of his clothes.
Rising Action:  Mickey ends up in the Night Kitchen, where he falls into the batter that the bakers are preparing.
Climax: The bakers appear not to notice Mickey, and make a cake.  Mickey pops out of the cake batter, creates an airplane, and clothed in cake batter, flies off.  The bakers are mad though because they need milk to make another cake.
Falling Action:  Mickey flies into a milk jug and gets the milk for the bakers. The bakers are now able to make their cake.
Resolution: Mickey slides down the side of the milk jug and falls right into bed, all clean and asleep.

The illustrations, although possibly altered, are warm and fluffy looking, just like cake.  Everyone is plump and the colors of the illustrations give off a feeling of comfort which helps to establish the mood of the story.  I am interested in knowing about the illustrations of Mickey.  If they have been altered, and he is indeed completely naked, I would wonder why Sendak thought his clothes should come off.  This is an interesting aside, and although mentioned in the story, would neither add to or take away from the story if he were to keep his pajamas on. 

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