Maurice Sendak has interpreted these old' Mother Goose rhymes in animated sequences that have the aliveness and immediacy of a child's own imaginings.
There is little in these verses to suggest the settings, the characterizations, the unforeseen twists and turns of Mr. Sendak's fantastical picture-stories. They extend the boundaries of the short rhymes and add surprising dimension.
The many admirers of Where the Wild Things Are and The Nutshell Library will recognize in Hector Protector and the seafarer of As I Went Over the Water the same pugnaciousness, love of mischief, and derring-do that characterize Max and Pierre. And they will agree that Mr. Sendak has created a true picture book of astounding originality.
In addition to Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak's books include Kenny's Window, Very Far Away, The Sign on Rosie's Door, Nutshell Library (consisting of Chicken Soup with Rice, Alligators All Around, One Was Johnny, and Pierre), Higglety Pigglety Pop! or There Must Be More to Life, In the Night Kitchen, Outside Over There, We Are All in the Dumps with Jack and Guy, and Bumble-Ardy.
He received the 1964 Caldecott Medal for Where the Wild Things Are; the 1970 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration; the 1983 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, given by the American Library Association in recognition of his entire body of work; and a 1996 National Medal of Arts in recognition of his contribution to the arts in America. In 2003, he received the first Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, an international prize for children's literature established by the Swedish government.