Books

The First Naked Boy I Ever Saw Was Drawn By Maurice Sendak

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When I hear  the name “Maurice Sendak,” the first thing that pops into my mind is the drawing of the naked little boy in “In The Night Kitchen — my very first introduction to the male anatomy.

I stumbled across the book in my school library when I was in the 1st or 2nd grade, and was both shocked and delighted to find something so pornographic in nature left out where I could see it, and not just see it, but flip through it, and not just flip through it, but study that little drawing in very. Close. Detail.

I mean, wow. “Blueberries for Sal,” this clearly was not.

Apparently, I’m not the only one with somewhat weird Maurice Sendak associations. Blackbook Magazine just published “Maurice Sendak: A Pervert’s Guide,” which makes special note of the controversy surrounding “In The Night Kitchen.”

“The book, published in 1970 and winner of the Caldecott Prize in 1971, tells the story of a young boy named Mickey, a somnambulist, who ventures into a bakery presided over by three jolly bakers. At one point, Mickey is completely naked and his little boy penis and little boy balls are depicted. This caused controversy since, at the time, it was not widely believed that boys had penises and testicles.”

Well, Mr. Sendak, thanks for setting the record straight on that matter.

[Maurice Sendak: A Pervert's Guide]

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