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Maurice Sendak: 'Where the Wild Things Are' author by the numbers

May 08, 2012|By Tiffany Hsu
  • Maurice Sendak poses with one of the characters from "Where the Wild Things Are" on Sept. 25, 1985. The character was one of several designed for the operatic adaptation of his book.
Maurice Sendak poses with one of the characters from "Where the Wild… (Associated Press )

Maurice Sendak, the popular children's book illustrator and writer, died today at age 83 in a Danbury, Conn., hospital after suffering a stroke. Sendak was best known for his book "Where the Wild Things Are" but was also a frequent collaborator on operas, television programs, films and theater.

Here's a look, by the numbers, of his impact:

50-plus: Books written and/or illustrated by Sendak

17 million: Copies in print of "Where the Wild Things Are," the 37-page classic about a boy named Max and the monsters that he meets that Sendak published in 1963 to much acclaim and controversy.

3: Rank on Amazon's list of bestselling children's book classics, behind Dr. Seuss' "Oh, the Places You’ll Go!" and Eric Carle's "The Very Hungry Caterpillar." It's ranked 184th among all books.

$10.94: Price of a hardcover copy of "Where the Wild Things Are" on Amazon

$100 million: Estimated budget for the 2009 film "Where the Wild Things Are"

$32.7 million: The movie's opening weekend box-office haul in the U.S.

$77.2 million: The gross box office for the film's North American theatrical run

$500: Starting cost of adult tickets for the New York City Opera's April 2011 performance of "Where the Wild Things Are." Oliver Knussen composed the work to Sendak's libretto.

5: Number of seasons of "Maurice Sendak's Little Bear," a Canadian children's television series that ran from 1995 through 2003 on Nickelodeon and was based on the "Little Bear" book series illustrated by Sendak. It still airs in reruns.

10,000-plus: Sendak objects -- including original drawings, sketches, manuscripts, proofs and more -- housed in the Rosenbach Museum and Library in Philadelphia. The institution is allowing visitors to view its Sendak Gallery for free today.

766: Number of students enrolled at Maurice Sendak Elementary in North Hollywood.


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