His breakthrough as a children's author came with the collection of stories "Der Leuchtturm auf den Hummerklippen" (1956) and "Mein Urgroßvater und ich" (1960). Widespread popularity came after the publication of "Timm Thaler oder das verkaufte Lachen".
In addition to his many books and other literary works written for children and translated into 41 languages, Krüss also wrote radio plays and produced TV shows for young audiences ("James Tierleben"). His works received numerous awards, including the Hans Christian Andersen Award, which he received in 1968 in recognition of his complete works.
James Krüss died on Gran Canaria in 1997.