Among his works were such books as Where The Wild Things Are and In the Night Kitchen. Sendak was a pioneer in using comics illustration to tell his stories.
Sendak decided on his illustrative career after seeing Fantasia when he was 12. In addition to illustrating others’ books throughout the 1950s, Sendak was also hired to create window displays at F.A.O. Schwarz. In 1963, Where the Wild Things Are was first published, and its depictions of fanged monsters concerned some parents, but the book went on to award-winning status, winning the Caldecott Medal in 1964, and a feature film.
In the late 1960s, Sendak was an advisor to The Children’s Television Workshop as Sesame Street was being developed. His book Bumble Ardy was adapted into an animated sequence for the show with Jim Henson providing the voice of the title character. Other Sendak work for the series included “Up & Down” and “Broom Adventures.” A third Sendak piece, “Seven Monsters,” was animated, but never aired. A later television series was developed called Seven Little Monsters.
Sendak said that, in addition to his father, Philip, his influences were Herman Melville, Mozart, and Emily Dickinson.
In the early 1970s, Sendak chose the Rosenbach Museum & Library in Philadelphia, Pa., as the repository for his work. Several exhibitions of material from the collection have been presented over the years.