(with dust jacket) (without dust jacket)
Published in the U.S. by Alfred A. Knopf, New York in 1996.
Distributed by Random House.
Illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher.
My Many Colored Days covers a gambit of emotions expressed through color. The text of the book is very simple and poetic leaving room for full page gorgeous illustrations. Our main character is a sort of cookie-cutter shape, but as the book goes on the emotions are not only expressed through color, but also different animals. There is not really a plot, so a summary is sort of silly. Instead, here are several pages from the book so you can see how it progresses.
“You’d be surprised how many ways I change on Different Colored Days.”
“Then comes a Mixed-Up Day. And WHAM! I don’t know who or what I am!”
On the final page we see the different colors coming together and our main character is “back to being…me.”
There are two dedication, both at the back of the book.
To Ted, who colored my days…and my life.
– Audrey Geisel
For Denise and Frances.
– Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher
This is a posthumous publication. The text was taken from a draft that Seuss wrote in 1973. On the dust jacket Audrey Geisel, Seuss’ second wife, is quoted saying:
“Though the inspiration for this book was personal, he [Seuss] felt that someone else should bring his or her own vision to it. He wanted the illustrations to be very different from his.”
There is a letter from Seuss to friend Phyllis Jackson which has shed some light on the intended publication of this work. A bit of the letter is quoted on the front of the dust jacket which suggests that Seuss seems to have had in mind
“a great color artist who will not be dominated by me.”
Philip Nel explores the letter further in his book Dr. Seuss: American Icon. He points out that Seuss also wrote in the same letter,
“Of course I would love to paint this book myself, but I have so many major Dr. Seuss books that I have got to do, I just won’t have time.”
Seuss also states in the letter that this book was,
“one of three I am working on for next year’s [1974’s] Beginner Book Bright and Early line, under different bylines. One will probably be a Seuss, one a LeSieg, and this color book probably under another nom de plume”
This seems to have been completely disregarded as the book was published under “Dr. Seuss”. I agree with Philip Nel on this one; they should have published it under “LeSieg” since it was illustrated by someone else, or they should have written a forward to explain the process. Of course, since it is a posthumous book they want to honor Dr. Seuss and put his name on it, but since we have proof that he intended to publish it under a different name, I think that should have been honored as well.
I absolutely love the illustrations and I think they do the writing justice, but it would have been nice to have a section at the beginning to give the readers some context about why it is illustrated the way it is and still published under the pen name “Dr. Seuss”.
“Gray Day…Everything is gray. I watch. But nothing moves today.”
This quote just captures my slow days. I’m not necessarily sad, but I find it hard to get up and get going and I just sit around watching life instead of being apart of it.
Especially compared to my favorite quote, this page is so alive and fun! I love these days!
Thanks for reading,