Maurice Sendak received the 1964 Caldecott Medal for Where the Wild Things Are. Both the text and the illustrations brilliantly capture an angry little boy's feelings and fantasies upon being sent to bed without any supper. This book has become a favorite read-aloud for 3-6 year olds, who love to hear it again and again. (HarperCollins, 1988; ISBN: 9780060254926) Read my review of Where the Wild Things Are.
This boxed set of miniature books is wonderful. The strong rhythms and rhymes, the witty illustrations, and the amusing stories please both small children and adults. The four little hardbound books are Chicken Soup with Rice, One was Johnny, Pierre, and Alligators All Around. You may remember them as song lyrics in the musical Really Rosie. (HarperCollins, 1986. ISBN: 9780060255008)
Illustrated in a style reminiscent of comic books, this is the exuberant story of a little boy and his nighttime adventures. Mickey is awakened by a noise, falls out of his clothes, and "into the light of the night kitchen." This fantasy is very appealing to small children. A 1971 Caldecott Honor Book, it has become a classic. (HarperCollins, 1995; ISBN: 9780060266684)
While telling the story of a little girl who saves her baby sister from the goblins by playing her wonder horn, Sendak sheds light on children's deepest fears and feelings. He received the American Book Award in 1982 for the book, which was also a Caldecott Honor Book and won the 1981 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Illustration. (HarperCollins, 1981. ISBN: 9780060255237)
Jeannie the dog is pampered, but unhappy. She leaves home to find more and discovers a wonderful opportunity to be an actress. However, she needs experience and goes on to have some very disconcerting experiences. This clever story is also interesting as an account of the lure of an artist's true vocation, even in the face of obstacles and discomfort. (HarperCollins, 1999; ISBN: 9780060284794)