Thursday, February 4, 2010

In The Night Kitchen - by Maurice Sendak

Maurice Sendak is most famous for "Where The Wild Things Are".  Even though this book is not as famous as its counterpart it is an imaginative tale on a simple task.  Mr. Sendak take a simple question - why they always have cake in the morning - and makes it into an adventure.

It's about a young boy who wakes up to a lot of racket in the middle of the night.  He falls through the house to meet three bakers who mistake him for an ingredient in the cake. The book goes along the boy's journey as he tries to get home.

The story is very original.  Sendak's pictures are colorful and imaginative.  The only thing that was an issue for me was when the young boy loses his clothes on the way to the bakers.  There is frontal nudity on some of the pages.  I feel that elementary age children will focus on that and it may detract from them fully appreciating the story.  This is a Caldecott Honor Book.

POSITIVE As written before this is, in my opinion, an inventive way to explain why they get cake in the morning.  The pictures are colorful and will catch the readers attention right away.

EDUCATIONAL This book can be used to spur your child's imagination.  Just like Sendak took the act of baking a cake and making into an adventure do the same with your children.

  • Make a book like Sendak's - example: "How was the soup made?" Encourage them to think of different and improbable ways to make the soup and draw pictures to match.  They can then read it to the family.  
  • Bake a cake like in the story. 
As always any comments or questions are appreciated

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