Eight-going-on-nine-year-old Maggie Rose, who was born on the night before Christmas and named after a real live princess, is one of “those Bunkers,” a lazy and shiftless family who live in a dilapidated shack on the wrong side of the Point, a resort spot near Bangor, Maine, and are known to one and all as the laziest, laughingest, singingest family for miles around. Tim and Liz bunker and their brood of seven children are without an ambition in the world and prefer to lean generously on the charity of their neighbors rather than go out and work. Only Maggie Rose ever wishes for something a little better; most especially, she wishes that just for once there was enough money for “those Bunkers” to have a wonderful birthday Christmas celebration all of their own. In spite of their faults “those Bunkers” have a fine feeling for the important things in life and they all recognize Maggie Rose as something special, someone who might have come out of the top bureau drawer. So when tragedy threatens Maggie Rose, “those Bunkers” are finally jolted out of their kitchen chairs, and in an unprecedented move they rally together and determinedly set about making Maggie Rose’s dream come true.
Ruth Sawyer (1880-1970), a central figure in the advancement of children’s book reading and writing, is a recipient of the Regina Medal (1965) for distinguished contribution to the field of children’s literature and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal (1965) for substantial and lasting contributions to children’s literature. A frequent and much admired speaker in the United States, she collaborated on two Caldecott Honor winners, The Christmas Anna Angel (1944) and Journey Cake, Ho! (1954), and her book Roller Skates (1937) was a winner of the Newbery Medal.
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.