Maurice Sendak is famous for his picture books "Where the Wild Things Are", "In the Night Kitchen" and "Outside Over There". Over the past twenty-five years, he regularly published essys and reviews about a number of writers and illustrators whose work he admires. The subjects of his appreciation range from George MacDonald, Beatrix Potter and Randolph Caldecott to Margot Zemach, Harriet Pincus and Edward Ardizzone; from Maxfield Parrish, Walt Disney and Lothar Meggendorfer to Jean de Brunhoff, Mother Goose and Hans Christian Andersen. In these essays, and in autobiographical essays and interviews, Sendak voices his opinions on aspects of his "battle-ground", the world of the picture book. In an essay entitled "The Shape of Music" he examines the subtle ways in which music has influenced his own pictures.
He also pinpoints misunderstandings about the origins of some "children's literature"; he describes how the public have misinterpreted Andersen, admiring him "only for the least part of his genius"; he bemoans the "adult censorship of subjects" and blames mid-19th century parents, who confined Meggendorfer, the Grimms and Mother Goose to the nursery, for creating the "artificial world of the juvenile book". Maurice Sendak is winner of the Caldecott Medal (1964), the Hans Christian Andersen Illustator's Medal (1970) and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award (1983).