Residents of the Lake Hodges community of Del Dios can treat their kids and grand kids to a double book reading of controversial author Maurice Sendak's books "Where The Wild Things Are" and "In The Night Kitchen."
Where The Wild Things caused a flurry of controversy when it was first released. The book features a rebellious child named Max, who talks back to his mother, has no father around and runs away to an imaginary place. Sendak's towering creatures featuring fangs, large mouths full of teeth, clawed feet and horns, inhabit the land into which Max escapes. Child psychologist Dr. Bruno Bettleheim came out against it. Sendak was disparaged for portraying a disobedient youngster and creating images that could frighten an impressionable child. But Sendak delights in being politically incorrect. It is what keeps the child in him alive and maintains his connection with his audience. "I think children are by nature politically incorrect," he says. "You have to learn to be a boring person."
In The Night Kitchen caused another flurry of controversy when Mickey enters the Night Kitchen, he loses his pajamas and is fully naked in some parts of the story. Critics object to Mickey's nudity which depicts not only his buttocks, but also his genitals. Some also interpret sexual innuendo in the events, with the nudity, free-flowing milky fluids, and a giant phallic milk bottle overflowing. As a result, the book proved controversial in the United States on its release and has continued to be so. The inclusion of child nudity has been frequently raised as morally problematic in it's tendency to sexualize children before their time; consequently, this book remains on lists of books either challenged or banned.
Sendak's work, often on the edge much of the time, is also courageous in its execution. He has single-handedly changed the face of children's literature by redefining what is appropriate content for young readers as a gay man and as an atheist who never had children of his own,