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Maurice Sendak

Author, Illustrator

(1928 - 2012)

Maurice Sendak

Maurice Bernard Sendak was an American illustrator and writer of children’s books. He became widely known for his book Where the Wild Things Are, first published in 1963.

Born to Jewish-Polish parents, his childhood was affected by the death of many of his family members during the Holocaust.

Besides Where the Wild Things Are, Sendak also wrote works such as In the Night Kitchen and Outside Over There, and he illustrated Little Bear.

Internationally, Sendak received the third biennial Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration in 1970, recognizing his “lasting contribution to children’s literature”. He received one of two inaugural Astrid Lindgren Memorial Awards in 2003, recognizing his career contribution to “children’s and young adult literature in the broadest sense.” The citation called him “the modern picture-book’s portal figure” and the presentation credited Where the Wild Things Are with “all at once [revolutionizing] the entire picture-book narrative ... thematically, aesthetically, and psychologically.”

In the U.S. he received the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal from the professional children’s librarians in 1983, recognizing his “substantial and lasting contributions to children’s literature”. At the time it was awarded every three years. Only Sendak and the writer Katherine Paterson have won all three of these premier awards.

  • Caldecott Medal from the ALA as illustrator of “the most distinguished American picture book for children,” Where the Wild Things Are, 1964 (Sendak was also one of the Caldecott runners-up seven times from 1954 to 1982, more than any other illustrator, although some have won multiple Medals)
  • Hans Christian Andersen Award for children’s book illustration, 1970
  • National Book Award in category Picture Books for Outside Over There, 1982
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal for American children’s literature, 1983
  • National Medal of Arts, 1996
  • Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for children’s literature, 2003
  • Sendak was honored in North Hollywood, California, where an elementary school was named after him.
  • On June 10, 2013, Google featured an interactive doodle where visitors could click on the video-go triangle to see an animated movie-ette of Max and Sendak’s other main characters.


Best In Children’s Books Volume 31 (1960)

An anthology of stories, poems and articles, some of which have new illustrations.

Author(s): James Baldwin
Margery Clark
Eleanor Estes
Joseph Jacobs
Et al
Illustrator(s): Don Freeman
Maud Petersham
Miska Petersham
Maurice Sendak
Edward Shenton
Et al

Details »

Children Everywhere (1958)

A collection of stories and poems about children around the world for older readers.

Author(s): Eleanor Estes
Rachel Field
Robert Frost
Sterling North
Johanna Spyri
Et al
Illustrator(s): Maurice Sendak
Kate Seredy
Louis Slobodkin
Hilda van Stockum
Kurt Wiese
Et al

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Fairy Tales of Frank Stockton (1990)

Twenty-three American fairy tales.

Author(s): Frank R. Stockton
Illustrator(s): Maurice Sendak

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Good Times Together (1958)

Includes Willie’s Pocket by Margaret Wise Brown with illustrations by Crockett Johnson reproduced in color. An anthology for younger children about people around the world.

Author(s): Ludwig Bemelmans
Margaret Wise Brown
Kenneth Grahame
Maj Lindman
A. A. Milne
Et al
Illustrator(s): Richard Bennett
Marjorie Flack
Crockett Johnson
Maurice Sendak
Helen Sewell
Et al

Details »

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s Farm (1954)

The widow of a retired pirate has move to the country but is still providing cures for children with bad habits.

Author(s): Betty MacDonald
Illustrator(s): Maurice Sendak

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