Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Sendak, Maurice. In the Night Kitchen. HarperCollins, 1996 (c1970). 40 p. TR $17.95 ISBN 978-0060266684

SUMMARY: "A little boy's dream-fantasy in which he helps three fat bakers get milk for their cake batter."

RISKS: Illustrations depicting a nude boy

EVALUATION: Brimming with creativity and sumptuous imagery, this picture book makes a young boy's dream seem both heroic and surreal. Sendak has the unique gift of expanding on the vision of a young child with such grace and genuine wonder that children are naturally drawn to it and adults remember a little of what it's like to see the world so vast and full of possibility. The plot doesn't make much sense, but of course, neither do dreams, and so the surreal narrative that emerges in these comic book style panels is perhaps more like Dr. Seuss than Arnold Lobel. But Sendak evokes a seriousness in his magical images that the silliness of Seuss sometimes misses.

READER'S ANNOTATION: As bewildering and fascinating as a real dream - and as vivid - come follow Mickey on his fantasy adventure through the Night Kitchen.

TOPICS: dreams; cake; baking; bakers;

AWARDS: Caldecott Honor, 1971

Ages 4-7


  1. We love this book - we even have the DVD. Milk in the batter, milk in the batter!