New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1970. 1st Edition. Quarto, publisher's oatmeal cloth, pictorial label to upper board, original illustrated dust jacket.
First edition of Sendak's children's classic, in which a young boy dreams he is nearly baked into a cake by three chefs resembling Oliver Hardy/Hitler, before escaping in a plane made of dough on a mission to find milk, which he bathes in naked and pours into the batter, helping to finish the cake. The book was controversial upon publication for its depiction of full nudity, leading it to be censored and in some instances banned. Less fuss seems to have been made over the subtext of a Jewish boy being nearly baked alive in an oven with his name on it by chefs sporting toothbrush mustahces. "I didn't set out to cause a scandal. I set out to do a very particular work where he had to be naked in order to confront a particular dream he was in. You don't go into a dream wearing Fruit of the Loom underwear or PJs. You go tutto" (Sendak, interviewed by Terry Gross). Illustrated in color throughout. A 1971 Caldecott Honor Book winner. First issue dust jacket with price of $4.95, dated 10/70 on upper flap, seven titles listed on lower flap, and no Caldecott Honor seal to upper panel. Bottom corners lightly banged, some soiling to top and bottom edges of boards; unclipped dust jacket with light rubbing to spine-ends and joints, with two small closed tears to bottom edge of lower panel. Near fine. Item #230