Wednesday, March 14, 2012

In the Night Kitchen By: Maurice Sendak

The kids instantly loved this book! And to me that is the true measure of a great book.  Not that I leave entertained but that they get wrapped up in the story and they get embedded in their imaginations.  We had not read the book in many months and it was on our vacation in Duck, NC that we rediscovered it.  Our trip to Duck is a yearly family vacation tradition and it is also a tradition to allow each girl to pick a book from this quaint, packed book store there.  My oldest daughter Isabela has a real passion for books.  Her first birthday invitation shows her sitting on the floor "reading" an Elmo book, and right before our vacation Isabela had learned to read and was even more excited than before to pick a book.  We of course spent awhile at the bookstore looking and talking about everything we were finding. But when Isabela saw this book she made up her mind immediately that this was the book she wanted and Emma quickly agreed.  Leaving us only having to buy one book!  ( I have to admit I was glad and really proud that my girls picked this book over another Disney Princess book.)

So about the book, the main character is a little boy named Mickey.  As Mickey is lying in bed he hears "a racket" and falls down into the "light of the night kitchen."  In the night kitchen are three bakers that try to bake Mickey into a "A delicious Mickey-cake.".  Mickey gets out of the oven and gets covered in bread dough.  He makes a dough airplane and flies high into the night sky.  Mickey dives into a big bottle of milk and pours the milk into batter below for the bakers morning cake.  Mickey then falls back into bed.  Ending the tale by saying "And that is why, thanks to Mickey we have cake every morning."  Written in 1970 In the Night Kitchen is a Caldecott Honor book. The author Maurice Sendak is probably best known for Where the Wild Things Are another great book.  Apparently there is some controversy over the character Mickey in the book being naked in some parts of the book.  The pictures are anatomically correct and not vulgar. I simply explained that to my girls and they didn't mention it again.  They were too interested in the story.

When we got home from our vacation the Library had the Scholastic DVD of  In the Night Kitchen to borrow.  We took it home and the girls listened and watched this quirky tale over and over and over again!  I have to say that watching the DVD the story started to make a lot more sense to me.  He gave the words a melody and I started to see why the girls liked this book so much.  Included on that DVD are Where the Wild Things Are, and the Nutshell Kids with songs performed by Carole King.  My girls loved it all!  We even ended up borrowing a CD of Carole Kings songs featuring a lot of Maurices stories/poems and the kids liked singing along to them!

The Scholastic Storybook Treasures DVD series are true to the books so it isn't like sitting your child in front of the mindless "tube" it is like having a narrator for your books! 
Check it out :

Cheers to Reading!

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