Banned Books Week: Draw Me A Star and In The Night Kitchen

Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association.

Draw Me A Star

By Eric Carle


For the life of me I could not think of why this book would end up on any banned book list.  So I sat down recently to re-read it, trying to get into the mindset of why it would be considered objectionable.

It’s amazing how quickly one can pick up on things like that pretty quickly when you’re looking for it.  In this case there were two things I spotted.  First (and the one that seemed to raise the most objection) is the illustrations of a naked man and woman.  This is done in Eric Carle’s distinctive style, and hardly could be considered “graphic.”  However, there are those who do find it objectionable, and it has been removed from libraries (or altered to remove the objectionable content) for this.

What it brings to mind, for me, is the another children’s book that was removed for the same reasons.

In The Night Kitchen

by Maurice Sendak


In the Night Kitchen is a sweet story about a boy, Mickey, wandering through his dream-world.  The objections arise primarily because in some of the illustrations the boy is naked. Various locations have gone the tactic of altering the book, adding clothing to Mickey.




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