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.
Maurice Sendak received the 1964 Caldecott Medal for Where the Wild Things Are. In 1970 he received the international Hans Christian Andersen Medal for illustration, and he remains the only American ever awarded this honor. In 1983, Sendak received the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award from the American Library Association, given in recognition of his entire body of work. He also received a 1996 National Medal of Arts in recognition of his contribution of arts in America.