Our first selection was In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak.
It ranked 25th place on the "100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000" list compiled by the American Library Association primarily because of it's depiction of the protagonist, a toddler named Mickey, in the nude.
So the question is, is this book appropriate for children?
Anyone too uptight to share this book with their child based on mild nudity is depriving them of the experience of a truly wonderful work of art. My daughter thought it was "a really great book" and she was fascinated by the vibrant illustrations that jumped off the page and drew her into the magical world of Mickey's imagination.
You can watch animator Gene Deitch's faithful 1987 adaptation here:
Some extremists have even suggested that the milky white imagery and so-called "phallic" milk jug represent a manifestation of Sendak's homosexuality. But in my opinion, there is nothing inherently sexual here, and any adults who perceive such overtones are certainly projecting them on it themselves.
And as far as a young child's interpretation of the book, who can relate to the fun of running around naked more than a toddler? My daughter is three and she thinks being naked is hysterical.
In fact she's probably at home doing "The Naked Dance" right now.
Banned Books Week
Celebrating the freedom to read: September 27th to October 3rd, 2015
For more information: http://www.bannedbooksweek.org