Brooklynites are wild about Where the Wild Things Are.
As part of its 125th anniversary, Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) has been counting down the 125 most checked-out books in its history, and Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s picture book took the top spot. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats came in second.
Released in 1963, Where the Wild Things Are tells the story of a young boy named Max who escapes into a make-believe land of oversized, friendly monsters after being sent to his bedroom without supper for misbehaving. The book was awarded a Caldecott Medal in 1964; has sold more than 19 million copies worldwide as of 2009, with 10 million of those being in the United States; and has been adapted into short and feature-length films and even an opera.
Sendak was a Brooklyn native, and BPL has honored the "local" author in the past, including featuring Where the Wild Things Are on a special limited-edition BPL library card in 2017.
BPL considered multiple factors when coming up with its list, such as years since publication, bestseller lists, and checkout and circulation data, the library said in a news release. The list is a who’s-who of literary greats—from Dr. Suess, whose book, The Cat in the Hat, earned the third spot on the list to Judy Blume, whose Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret rounds out the list at number 125. In between, readers can find Charles Dickens (A Christmas Carol), Sandra Cisneros (The House on Mango Street), John Steinbeck (Of Mice and Men), Lois Lowry (The Giver), Aldous Huxley (A Brave New World), Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People), and many more.
In addition to the top-125 book list, BPL’s birthday celebrations include a fascinating online historical timeline of the library; birthday wishes submitted by patrons and booklovers, including video messages from authors like Lois Lowry, Mo Willems, and Judy Blume; and more.
Happy birthday, Brooklyn Public Library!