Hard Cover. New York: Harper & Row, 1970. First Edition. Near Fine / Dust Jacket Included.
First edition, first printing. Illustrated by the author. Signed by Sendak on the title page. Original publisher's cloth, first issue dust jacket. An excellent copy with a former owner gift inscription to front endpaper; in a very bright jacket with only very minor wear and rubbing to the extremities, and without the Caldecott Medal to the front panel (presumably an earlier printing prior to receiving the award the following year). Overall, a near fine copy. In the Night Kitchen is a popular children's book that has been the subject of much controversy due to the main character's pervasive nudity. The story tells of a young boy named Mickey who dreams that he ventures to the "Night Kitchen" where giant bakers make morning bread. During his fantastical dream, Mickey falls and almost becomes baked into the bread, then builds a plane out of dough to get the milk necessary to complete the baking. Although their plots are similar, In the Night Kitchen has quite different illustrations than the author's iconic Where the Wild Things Are. Both employ dream-like color schemes, but the former's illustrations have none of the latter's distinctive cross-hatching. Regardless of its artistic and literary qualities, many schools and libraries took issue with Mickey's nudity, in some cases going so far as to cut out or color over his private parts. In a 1986 interview with NPR, Sendak explained his decision to draw Mickey without clothes: "I didn't set out to cause a scandal. I set out to do a very particular work where he had to be naked in order to confront a particular dream he was in. You don't go into a dream wearing Fruit of the Loom underwear or PJs. You go tutto. You go yourself, your being, and that's why he was naked, and it was idiocy. It was incredible idiocy what went on over that book for many, many years about Mickey being naked." Although it is still one of the most frequently challenged books today, In the Night Kitchen remains a popular and acclaimed piece of children's literature.