Sunday, December 21, 2008
On In The Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
Nazy had this children's book sitting on her dining table next to her computer and some pens.
I recognised the front cover of the book. It might have been because the kid on the front resembled Max from Where The Wild Things Are. Then i realised it was written by the same author.
Nazy and i looked up Maurice Sendak. We found out that when he was 12, he watched Walt Disney's Fantasia and decided he wanted to be an illustrator.
So then we read through the book together, with Nazy's new found obsession with Joy Division as the soundtrack.
The story began normal enough. Mickey, the protagonist, wakes up to a loud racket.
Then things got weird. Acid trip weird.
Mickey proceedes to randomly "fall through the dark", lose his clothes, and fly to the moon, landing in a cake mix (??). Three fat Hitler-ish men with little moustaches, double chins and red noses stir Mickey through the batter.
Mickey jumps out the batter, protesting, "I'm not the milk and the milk's not me! I'm MICKEY!" At this point, Mickey is sporting a cake-batter onesie.
Mickey kneads, punches, pounds and pulls a clump of residue cake batter into the form of some sort of one-seater plane, which he flies "the Mickey way" (to where we're not sure, but we assume its some sort of play on the "Milkway").
We read on to find out he actually IS flying to the Milkyway, which happens to be a gigantic old-fashioned milk bottle like in the movies. He falls into the bottle, wherein his batter onesie begins to disintergrate off his body, leaving him essentially stark naked.
The rest of the story is pretty much ridiculous, especially the part where he stands on the edge of the bottle with a jug on his head, shouting (in pretty coral curvy font) "Cock.a.Doodle Doo!". Loud and proud in his birthday suit.
The last 2 pages show him falling back into his bed, fully clothed, "carefree and dried."
I turned to Nazy and said, "this isnt how i remembered this book". Then i realised that i think i had possibly read it before. Nazy exclaimed that she had seen my mother's name in the book somewhere.
We flicked to the back cover to find that vintage envelope thing with the cardboard slip in it that they used to use to lend out library books. People had written their names, and stamped the date, the earliest being "Vick 8 April 1988".
I followed the names down the lines to find "Shidan 1/1/97" in my mother's handwriting.
Dictated to Nazy by Shadi T.W. (more or less).
Proofread by Nazy.