New Challenge

dr08

Well, I have completed a post for each of the 44 books that Dr. Seuss wrote AND illustrated. Then I moved on to his posthumously published works. Now that I’m all caught up on those (until they release even more new material!) I have decided to go back and cover the books that he wrote, but did NOT illustrate.

For these books Dr. Seuss used another pen name. His full name is Theodore Seuss Geisel, so he shortened his first name and spelled his last name backwards to create the pen name Theo Lesieg. For one book only he also used the pen name Rosetta Stone. I’ll go into that more when that post comes up.

I have included these books at the bottom of my List of Children’s Books page on this blog. The titles should change color and become links to the posts as I complete them. Until then, happy reading!

Jack St.Rebor

seuss-4

WHAT PET SHOULD I GET?

what-pet-should-I-get-book-jacket

Published by Random House 2015

SUMMARY:
What Pet Should I Get? is the story of a boy and his sister, Kay, trying to decide what pet they should get. Their dad said he would pay for them to have one, but only one. At first it is simple a matter of deciding between a dog and a cat, but then there is a puppy and a kitten added to the mix.
unnamed-1

In true Seussian style more and more animals are added to the list of possible pets. First come your average pets like a bird that sings, or a rabbit.

“Then I looked at Kay.
I said, ‘What will we do?
I like all the pets that I see.
So do you.

We have to pick ONE pet
and pick it out soon.
You know Mother told us
to be back by noon.”

Interior-art-2_What-Pet-Should-I-Get-150723

Instead of deciding, Kay gets distracted by a bunch of fish! There are even monkeys that they can choose from! image005

Then it really starts to get crazy as our hero imagines all the pets he could pick from! Now we go into a classic Seussian list of imaginary creatures.

“If we had a big tent,
then we would be able
to take home a YENT!
Dad would like us
to have a good YENT.
BUT, how do I know
he would pay for the tent?

So, you see how it is
when you pick out a pet.
How can you make up
your mind what to get?”

For  a moment our hero considers getting one of every kind of pet, but then he realizes his dad would be mad because he said to only get one and if they do not make up their minds soon then they will get none!

“‘I will do it right now.
I will do it!’ I said.
‘I will make up the mind
that is up in my head.”

And he does. The last image is them walking out of the pet shop with a couple of eyes peeping out of a big basket with a bow on top, but Seuss does not reveal what pet they decide on. He leaves that up to the reader’s imagination.

The end.

HISTORY: 

Unlike the short story collections that came out in 2013 and 2014 and are covered in the previous two blog posts, this was not put together by Charles D. Cohen. There is, however, a section at the back of the book titled Notes from the Publisher. There is no signature at the end or introduction that explains who the specific writer of the “notes” is, so the reader is lead to assume it is someone at Random House that is representing them as a whole.

The Notes From the Publisher section starts with a heartfelt message to the readers about the responsibilities of buying a pet.

“[When the book was written] it was common for people to simply buy dogs, cats, and other animals at pet stores. Today animal advocates encourage us to adopt them from a shelter or rescue organization and warn us never to purchase our pets from places that are supplied by puppy mills. We wholeheartedly agree and completely support this recommendation. Choosing to adopt can help save the life of an animal that may not otherwise get a second chance at finding a forever home.”

From here this section goes into some history about pets that Seuss had in his own life and includes a few pictures. I am not going to cover all of that in this post, but the first bit is too precious not to share. He actually started his pet menagerie at the age of six with a stuffed toy dog that he named Theophrastus (Seuss’ real name is Theodore Seuss Geisel.) He kept this dog for the rest of his life. Just days before his death he gave it to his stepdaughter (the closest he ever had to a child of his own.)

6a00e54fcf73858834019aff74077a970b

The Notes section continues into some general history about the career and success of Dr. Seuss throughout the years. It is interesting information, but things that most Seuss readers know and that I have covered in other posts, so I’ll skip forward to the information about this particular publication.

When Seuss died in 1991 his wife, Audrey, found a box of various materials and projects that Seuss had been working on. She set it aside. It was rediscovered in 2013 by Audrey and Claudia Prescott (Seuss longtime secretary.) The manuscript and line art for What Pet Should I Get? were included in this rich bounty.

There is a quote from Audrey:

“While undeniably special, it is not surprising to me that we found this because Ted always worked on multiple projects and started new things all the time–he was constantly writing and drawing and coming up with ideas for new stories.”

Cathy Goldsmith (Ted’s art director for the last 11 years of his life) was able to identify the artwork as being from 1958 to 1962. She recognized the children as being the same from One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish! *
7a020dab67133dd14ac34fc98025e085* from One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.

The manuscript that Audrey and Claudia found was not completely finished. There was text tapped in with various versions on top of each other. There were also inked in lines and parts that were too faded to read.

“Like Kay and her brother, the editors at Random House had to make decisions and stick with them. We thought very carefully about each one, and we hope Dr. Seuss would be pleased-and that you will be, too.”

image006_bm8AuL122-dr-seuss-sketch-posted.nocrop.w529.h533.2x

The images they found were also not complete. The line drawers were complete, but without color or color assignments. As the Art Director, Goldsmith decided to base the color palette off of One Fish, but One Fish was limited to only four colors (including black.) These colors are never mixed to make more colors, but after 1963 Seuss’ books began to have a more full color palette.  Goldsmith chose to use this book as an in-between point.

“She colored all the backgrounds and objects in Pet blue or red or yellow or black. Mixed inks were used to create the colors of the real-life pets as well as the children’s hair and skin tone.”

SEUSSBOOK

My personal aesthetic would have been more pleased if they had fully committed to making the book feel like it was created and published in the 1958-1962 period of his work. I would have loved the limited color palette as well as publishing it in the size of a Beginner Book (which is what it would have been if it had been published in that time) rather than the full size of his more difficult to read books.

The writer of the Notes from the Publisher section does make the point that this book is not only about picking a pet, but also about making up your mind and Random House had to make some tough decisions and overall I think they stayed true to Dr. Seuss and published a delightful book.  
enhanced-buzz-wide-32674-1437423423-13

FAVORITE QUOTE:

“I might find a new one.
A fast kind of a thing
who would fly round my head
in a ring on a string!”

The addition of the word ring in the last line is not necessary for the rhyme scheme, but it adds an extra tongue twister aspect that makes it all the more fun to say.

FAVORITE IMAGE:

This image appears twice in the story. The first time seems kind of odd because it is before any fantastical creatures are introduced. The second time feels much more appropriate because it leads into the imaginary creatures toward the end of the book. Either way, it is a delightful image with classic Seussian creatures and great Seuss style font. The whole image reminds readers that this may be newly published, but the images and the idea are classic Seuss. 
DrSeuss_Make_Up_Your_Mind

Thank you for reading,
Jack St. Rebor

HORTON and the KWUGGERBUG and More Lost Stories

51BxEIvVK2L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Horton-Kwuggerbug-thumb-305x396-90023

Published by Random House in 2014
Introduction by Charles D. Cohen

SUMMARY:
I definitely recommend reading the Introduction by Charles D. Cohen before you start in on the stories written by Dr. Seuss. It contains some wonderful insight and explanation as to why these stories were just recently published into a book. I will delve into that further in the HISTORY section below (feel free to skip the SUMMARY section, it is a long one.)

Horton and the Kwuggerbug

This fable begins with a Kwuggerbug dropping in on Horton and explaining that he knows of the whereabouts of a Beezlenut tree which contains the sweetest of nuts. When Horton questions why the Kwuggerbug would share this information with him when he could just keep it to himself, the Kwuggerbug explains that the tree is rather far away and he needs Horton’s help to get there.

“So I’ll make you a deal that I think is quite fair…
You furnish the legs and you carry me there;
I’ll furnish the brains, show the way to the tree.
then half of the nuts are for you! Half for me!”
1406308851000-KwuggerbugSpreads-Page-1

Immediately after Horton agrees to the deal things start to take a turn for the worst. First off, there is no actual road to the Beezlenut tree, instead they have to cross a 30 mile wide lake full of crocodiles. When Horton complains the Kuggerbug throws back at him,

“You promised you’d go. And a deal is a deal.”

Horton sees that this is true so he swims across the lake with the Kwuggerbug bossing him around the whole way. Once they get out of the water the Kwuggerbug points out a nine thousand foot high mountain that Horton has to climb! Once again Horton complains that it’s too much to ask, but the Kwuggerbug replies,

“Tut-tut!” said the bug. “Now a deal is a deal.
And don’t start to argue. No ifs and no buts.
You’ll furnish the ride and I’ll furnish the nuts.”

“The climb,” sighed poor Horton, “will kill me, no doubt,
But a deal IS a deal, and I cannot back out.”

So, Horton climbs up the mountain with the Kwuggerbug yelling insults the whole way. Once they make it to the top of the mountain Horton asks where the Beelzenut tree is. The bug points across open air to a peak dangerously far away. When Horton asks how they can hope to reach it the Kwuggerbug yells,

“A deal is a deal,” snapped the bug. “I’m the boss.
you stretch out your trunk and you put me across!”

Which Horton of course does, but once the Kwuggerbug gets to the nuts their deal turns sour.

“A deal is a deal, and I”m giving you half.
One half of each nut, as you know, is the meat.
And that is the half I am keeping to eat.
But half of each nut, as you know very well,
Is the half of the nut that is known as the shell.
The shells are for you!” laughed the bug. And he rose
And he stuffed all the shucks up the elephant’s nose!

At this point Seuss takes a moment to ask you, the reader, what you would do in such a situation. He answers for you and explains that a deal is a deal so you wouldn’t complain and you’d be terribly nice and say very politely,

“Thank you, Mr. Kwuggerbug! Thank you for these.
But they tickle my nose. So look out! I shall sneeze!”

And you’d sneeze just the way Horton does and blow the shucks out right into the Kwuggerbug, blasting him so far away that he’d land in a place where he’d never be able to get back to his Beezlenut tree!

Marco Comes Late

Marco arrived late to class. When his teacher, Miss Block, asked why he was late Marco began to stutter out an excuse, but it quickly turned into a rather large tale.

kwuggerbugspreads_page_2

He began by telling Miss Block that he left at a quarter past eight and hurried along because he knew he shouldn’t be late, but as he was on Mulberry Street something happened! A bird laid an egg on his book!

“I couldn’t believe it, Miss Block, but it’s true!
I stopped and I didn’t quite know what to do.
I didn’t dare run and I didn’t dare walk.
I didn’t dare yell and I didn’t dare talk.
I didn’t dare sneeze and I didn’t dare cough.
Because, if I did, I would knock the egg off.”

So, he sat down to think. As he was sitting he heard a married worm-couple yelling. The husband yelled,

“He must not, he dare not, he shall not be late!
That boy ought to smash that egg off of his head.”

But the wife disagreed and shouted back,

“That egg is that mother bird’s pride and her joy.
If he smashes that egg, he’s the world’s meanest boy!”

CA_Seuss-2-630x464

While the worms were yelling Marco also heard a couple of cats start arguing. One cat yelled that Marco needed to get on his way or else his teacher would be terribly upset, while the other cat yelled that he must not move! So, Marco told Miss Block that he just sat there and didn’t know what to do.

Then the egg hatched and it yelled to Marco,

“I thank you, young fellow, you’ve been simply great.
But, now that I’m hatched, you no longer need wait.
I’m sorry I kept you till ‘leven o’clock.
It’s really my fault. You tell that to Miss Block.”

Then he flew away and Marco ran along to school. At the end of his rather tall tale Miss Block stared at him and then smiled and asked if any of it actually happened.

“Er…well,” answered Marco with sort of a squirm.
“Not quite all, I guess. But I did see a worm.”

How Officer Pat Saved the Whole Town

This is a classic snowball effect story. It starts rather simply with an Officer named Office Pat keeping the peace on the street. He sees a gnat buzzing around the head of an old cat named Thomas.

“Aha!” murmured Pat. “I see trouble in that!”

dr-seuss-lost-stories-03

Then Officer Pat begins to image all of the terrible things that could happen if the gnat bites the cat.

“If that gnat bites that cat, and he might very well,
That cat will wake up and he’ll let out a yell.
That’s only small trouble. I know it. But, brother,
One small bit of trouble will lead to another!

The trouble with trouble is…trouble will speard.”

Because if that cat yells then he’ll wake up three triplets named Tom, Tim and Ted who, in turn, will start to yowl and wake up the whole town. This will frighten the birds which will flap down Mulberry Street and scare the fish-market man. CA_Seuss-1-467x630He’ll toss a fish into the face of a horse pulling a wagon of pumpkins. The pumpkins will spill out onto the head of Jake Warner who is fixing a hydrant on the corner. Jake will wrench the wrong way and the water will gush onto Mrs. Minella who will open her umbrella. The Umbrella will knock Bobby Burke of his bike and he’ll fall onto the ladder of a house painter who will drop a can of paint onto the head of Don dill. This will upset Mrs. Hubble who will drop her dishes. When they crash on the ground her dog will be startled and jump in the horn on old Horn-Tooter Fritz…

“And Fritz will fall backward and scare Driver Schmitz
On his Dynamite Truck almost out of his wits!
And that Dynamite Truck, with its big load of blitz,
Will race toward that tree and, oh boy! when it hits
The whole of this town will be blown to small bits!

But lucky for us, down on Mulberry Street,
Good Officer Pat was awake on his beat.
And, quick, the brave officer swung his big bat
On the troublesome head of that troublesome gnat
And kept him from biting old Thomas, the cat,
And stopped all the trouble before it began.
He saved the whole town! What a very brave man!”

The Hoobub and the Grinch

The last tale in this collection is another fable. Once again, it starts with a simple fellow having a simple day, when a second character comes along and mixes things up. This time it’s a Hoobub enjoying the sun when up walks a Grinch with a piece of green string. He asks the Hoobub what he’ll pay for it considering it’s worth much more than the sun.
img_6943
The Hoobub finds this rather ridiculous, but the Grinch explains,

“The sun’s only good in a couple of short seasons.
For you’ll have to admit that in winter and fall
The sun is quite weak. It is not strong at all.
But this wonderful piece of green string I have here
Is strong, my good friend, every month of the year!”

When the Hoobub starts to speak the Grinch cuts him off and declares that on some days the sun doesn’t even come out, but the piece of green string can come anytime, any day! Then the Hoobub starts to change his tune and thinks that would be handy, but the Grinch doesn’t stop there. He goes on,

“That sun, let me tell you, is dangerous stuff!
It can freckle your face. It can make your skin rough.
When the sun gets too hot, it can broil you like fat!
But this piece of green string, sir, will NEVER do that!
THIS PIECE OF GREEN STRING IS COLOSSAL! IMMENSE!
AND, TO YOU…
WELL, I’LL SELL IT FOR NINETY-EIGHT CENTS!”

And the Hoobub bought it! Dr. Seuss ends this fable with a note in parenthesis

(And I’m sorry to say
That Grinches sell Hoobubs such things every day.)

HISTORY:

This collection of short stories was published three years after The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories. They both exist as publicized collections because of Charles D. Cohen who wrote the introduction for both books. He is a collector of all things Seussian and the author of the wonderful book The Seuss, The Whole Seuss, and Nothing but the Seuss. Each of these individual stories has been previously published in Redbook or other magazines from the 1950s, but they were pretty much lost in the years that followed before Seuss became the extremely famous children’s book author that he is today.

In the introduction Charles D. Cohen points out that each of these stories contains an element that is popular in other Seuss stories. First there is Horton, the lovable, gullible elephant that we know from Horton Hatches the Egg and Horton Hears a Who. Then there is Marco from And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street and McElligot’s Pool. Officer Pat also takes place on Mulberry Street. And in our final story we meet another Grinch, not the same one from How The Grinch Stole Christmas, but as Cohen puts it, “one who similarly believes that everyone is a mindless consumer who can be manipulated.”

HORTON/BEEZLENUT:
Horton and the Kwuggerbug is actually the second appearance of Horton. Horton Hatches the Egg was published in 1940. This short story was originally published in Rebook in January 1951. Horton Hears a Who! wasn’t published until 1954.

Beezlenuts are actually mentioned just as often in different Seuss stories as Horton is. Cohen points out that the dust-speck world of the Whos is almost boiled in Beezle-Nut oil In Horton Hears a Who. He also points out (but I actually noticed this on my own due to reading both of these books back to back at a children’s summer camp), that in Scrambled Egg Super! Beezlenut Blossoms are mentioned as the sweetest blossoms there are.

MARCO:

Seuss’ first book And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, published in 1937, lead to Marco becoming a fairly popular young boy. In 1940 the book was turned into an half-hour radio broadcast. Two year later Deems Taylor wrote Marco Takes a Walk (Variation for Orchestra) which premiered at Carnegie Hall that year (link below.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddBP019a4-U

George Pal created an animated short adaptation of Mulberry Street in 1944. (I was unable to find a video version of it, but below is a link to the IMDB page.)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0036601/

Marco also appeared in McElligot’s Pool published in 1947. Marco Comes Late was originally published in in 1950 and was Seuss’ fourth story to appear in Redbook.

Vlcsnap-2014-08-23-21h31m01s125

OFFICER PAT:

On September 14th, 1956 Seuss signed a contract with Random House for a book called How Officer Pat Saved the Town and Other Stories, but this book never came to be. In 1957 Random House published The Cat in the Hat and How the Grinch Stole Christmas which exploded Seuss’ career. Officer Pat was dropped and Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories was published instead. Some of the illustrations for Officer Pat in this publication were taken from the Dr. Seuss Collection at the University of California in San Diego. They show more variation than the illustrations in the Oct 1950 Redbook in which the story first appeared. Cohen explains that they “are believed to have been intended for the Officer Pat book, before that contract was dissolved in favor of Yertle.”

GRINCH:

Seuss first used the word “Grinch” in 1953 to describe a bird called the Beagle-Beaked-Bald-Headed Grinch in his book Scrambled Egg Super! In the May 1955 edition of Redbook the word “Grinch” reappeared The Hoobub and The Grinch.  197546306.0Two years later we learned How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Both the Grinch that appears in the christmas tale and the Grinch that appears in this short fable are concerned with consumerism. In this story the Grinch is a salesman that knows what to say to get the Hoobub to buy. This is a parallel with Seuss’ own life at the time working as an advertiser for Holly Sugar as well as Flit bug spray. holly-sugar
20775-bb48133018-1-3a

FAVORITE QUOTE:

This quote is actually included in the Introduction, but it is a quote by Dr. Seuss and I absolutely love it. It is from a Life Magazine interview on April 6, 1959

“If I start with a two-headed animal I must never waver from that concept. There must be two hats in the closet, two toothbrushes in the bathroom and two sets of spectacles on the night table. Then my readers will accept the poor fellow without hesitation and so will I.”

FAVORITE IMAGE:

It’s just classic silliness. It’s got a Seuss fish (with dead eyes) and I love that the pumpkins are jack-o-lanterns. Also, just great human faces.

13170753

Thanks for reading,
Jack St.Rebor

The Bippolo Seed and Other Stories

the-bippolo-seed-and-other-lost-stories

Published by Random House 2011
Introduction by Charles D. Cohen

SUMMARY:

This is a rather large post, because there are seven stories included. Feel free to skip the Summary section and head straight to the History section below to learn more about this wonderful collection of Seuss stories.

THE BIPPOLO SEED

bippolo3

One day a lucky duck named McKluck found an old, small, silver box. On top of the box was written:

“Who finds this rare box will be lucky, indeed
For inside this box is a Bippolo Seed!
Plant it and wish! And then out up to three!
Whatever you wish for, whatever it be
Will sprout and grow out of a Bippolo Tree!”

McKluck decided he didn’t need much, just enough duck food for a week. So he dug a hole in the ground, but before he could drop in the seed he was interrupted by a large cat.

The cat convinced McKluck to wish for 500 pounds of duck food so that they could go into business together selling the food that the duck wouldn’t need!

“I never thought much about money till now.
But, golly, you’re right.
With some money, gee whiz,
Why, I’d be the happiest
duck that there is!”

Just as the duck was about to throw the Bippolo Seed into the hole the cat told him to think of even more stuff to wish for. So, the duck went on listing things that he wanted. He decided he and the cat would have a store where they cold sell all of it in the Notions Department!

“Then his mouth started steaming, his tongue got so hot.
But the more that he wished, the more greedy he got.”

The duck went on wishing until he yelled:

“Say, I’ll be the richest young duck in this world!”

And he got so excited that in a crazy dizzy twirl he waved his arms and the Bippolo Seed slipped out and flew into the river nearby where it sank and drifted away. The cat and the duck both dived in to look for it, but they never found it again.

“But if they should find one, that cat and that duck
Won’t wish for so much. And they’ll have better luck.”

bippolo4

THE RABBIT, THE BEAR, AND THE ZINNIGA-ZANNIGA

rabbit-and-bear-cartoon

This parable of sorts starts with a “very big bear” that tries to eat a little rabbit. As the bear is approaching, the rabbit realizes he needs to think quick to get out of this predicament. He counts out loud to nine then stops and says:

“Only nine…? That’s a very bad sign! Poor bear!”

Then he counts again, but this time all the way up to ten. The bear is suspicious and asks if the rabbit is trying to say something is wrong with him. The rabbit admits that he is concerned for the bear, because he seems to only have nine eyelashes on one eye while he has the usual ten on the other. The bear is is not sure if he should be concerned at first, but the rabbit starts to play it up, like it is a big problem.

“‘And I guess that’s the reason,” the rabbit then said,
‘For the lop-sided way that you’re holding your head.
It’s twisted! It’s sagging! Because of the weight
of your un-even lashes, you can’t hold it straight!”

b7c49f11dcc08c55204fd17633182f42

Now the bear starts to worry. The rabbit keeps pointing out other ailments like a fuzzy tongue, a wuzzy brain, and a creaking backbone.

“Oh, the lack of an eyelash can make you a wreck.
The lack of an eyelash can break a bear’s neck!
Who knows what might happen! You may fall apart!
be careful, poor bear! Don’t you even dare cough
Or your feet and your tail and your nose may fall off!”

The bear starts to panic and asks for a solution to his problem. How can he get one more eyelash to grow? The rabbit points out that they are standing under a Zinniga-Zanniga Tree! He tells the bear that the juice of the flower of a Zinniga-Zanniga Tree is used to cure a number of ailments.

“Whooping Cough! Croup! Also colic and sprains
Chickenpox! Smallpox!  And bellyachee pains!
There’s nothing, they say, that this juice cannot do.
So I think, Mr. Bear, it’s the right juice for you.”

He tells the bear to pick a flower and hold it up to his eye and then, in a few hours, he’ll be cured. While the bear holds the flower up to his face the rabbit runs away. As he sprints to safety he says:

“It’s always the same
when you fight with Big Guys…
A bit of Quick-Thinking
counts much more than size!”

GUSTAV, THE GOLDFISH

t2-young-times_9606_213182c

Gustav, the Goldfish is a none-stop thrilling tale of a young boy and his rapidly growing gold fish. When our narrator bought Gustav, the man that sold him was very specific about the feeding:

Take care! When you feed this small cuss
Just feed him a spot. If you feed him a lot,
Then something might happen! It’s hard to say what.”

But the boy was conflicted, because Gustav always seemed so hungry. So, one day he decided to dump in the whole box of fish food! He knew right away that something was wrong, because Gustav grew twice as long! Soon he was too big for his bowl, so our narrator put him in a large vase, but he kept growing. Next he put him in a large pot, but when the fish grew out of that he had to run Gustav up to the tub. Even the tub wasn’t big enough and the bathroom eventually overflowed with water.

Just as our hero thought he was going to drown, the door bursted open and they spilled down the stairs and into the cellar which filled up with water. At this point the boy ran up to the phone and called the man that sold Gustav to him. The man arrived quickly.

“With a lot of strange bottles tucked into his vest
And a thing on his back like a medicine chest.”

He headed straight for the cellar and worked on Gustav for over an hour! When he came up from the cellar he had Gustav back to his normal size in a small fishbowl. He told the boy that this time it was free, but if it happened again he would charge a large free. So, now our hero only feeds Gustav a spot of food and no more,

“‘Cause something might happen. And now I know what!

9780375964350-bippolo37_zoomTADD AND TODD

Todd_and_Tadd

Tadd and Todd were two identical twins that no one could tell apart. Todd really enjoyed being identical, but Tadd did not. Tadd wanted to look different so he dyed his hair with red ink. When he showed it to Todd, Todd went ahead and did the same thing so they were back to looking exactly the same.

Tadd realized that if he wanted to look different he was going to have to dress different. So he added a false tail, took off one shoe, and put a rose between his toes. He decided this probably was not enough so he got a weird looking bird and pulled it on a string. He wanted to make sure that when he walked down the street everyone would know that he was Tadd and not Todd. He realized that even his few changes were probably not enough to positively make sure that everyone could tell them apart so he added A LOT more things!

The-bippolo-seed-and-other-lost-stories-dr-seuss-screenshot-3

“And NOW I’ll run home and I’ll show brother Todd
We’re NOT like two peas in a silly old pod!”

But as soon as he got home he ran into Todd,

“And saw that his brother was dressed up quite neatly
Exactly like he was! Precisely! COMPLETELY!”

Todd reasoned out that he looks like Tadd and Tadd looks like him and they’ll never look different whatever they do. To this Tadd sort of smiled and they went back to being two peas in a pod.

“And still no one knows when they meet with these two
If this one is that one, or that one is this one,
Or which one is what one, or what one is who

STEAK FOR SUPPER

A boy was walking home down Mulberry Street and thinking about what he was going to have for dinner. He shouted out loud that they always have steak every Saturday night! His father had warned him to button his lip, because you never can tell who may be listening. Soon enough our hero had an IKKA following him.

He started to worry, because they steaks his family usually has are pretty small and he knew there wouldn’t be enough for the IKKA. Then to make it worse the Ikka told a GRITCH to come along because there would be plenty of steak! The Gritch invites a GRICKLE. He knew his mom would be upset that he had been bragging and been followed home with a bunch of unexpected guests.

bippoloseed_pg50_custom-2d6b560a8971e077141159661b6f5be3f91442e6-s800-c15

To make matters worse the Grickle called out to a NUPPER and invited him a long for supper as well.

“I shivered. I wondered what Father would do
When I walked in the house with that terrible crew.
When Father saw them, there’s a very good chance
That I’d like get whaled on the seat of my pants.
And I guess if I did, it would serve me quite right
‘Cause I blabbed we had steak every Saturday night.”

Then the Nupper invited a couple of WILD WEEF. As our hero thinks of what his father and mother are going to do he opens the front door and smells stew instead of steak! The uninvited guests say Pooh to the stew and decide not to stay!

“And from that night to this I have never made slips.
I don’t talk when I walk, ’cause I’ve buttoned my lips.”

THE STRANGE SHIRT SPOT

shot02._SL350_V151648245_

In this story a boy gets a big gooey spot on his new shirt. He knows he needs to clean it before his mother sees. He starts by rubbing it with a towel which works! But now the spot has transferred to the towel! So he takes the towel to the bathtub, but now of course the spot stuck to the tub! He sweeps the tub with a broom and now the spot is stuck to the broom. Then thinking that he had a big rag our hero accidentally gets the spot stuck to one of his mother’s dresses!

“This spot! It was driving me out of my mind!
What a spot – what spot for a fellow to find!
My troubles were growing. The way it kept going!
Where would it go next? There was no way of knowing.”

Then the cat walks in and bums the dress and the spot jumps onto the cat’s back. So our hero chases the cat and they tumble down the stairs. Then he got an idea! He would put the cat outside so the spot would finally be out of the house! But before he got to the door her realized that the spot was back on his shirt from picking up the cat! Right then his mother comes home and he told her the whole story!

“…and she said ‘Well, I guess
You’re lucky you didn’t get terribly hurt.
But please, in the future, STAY OUT OF THE DIRT!”

THE GREAT HENRY MCBRIDE

” ‘It’s hard to decide,’
Said young Henry McBride
‘It’s terribly, terribly hard to decide.
When a fellow grows up and turns into a man,
A fellow should pick the best job that he can.
But there’s so many jobs that would be so much fun,
It’s terribly hard to decide on just one.’ “

First, Henry McBride thinks about what it would be like to be a farmer where he would raise giant rabbits and be the big Rabbit-Man, Henry McBride. But then he reflects that he’s too smart and clever to just tie himself down to only one job forever. So, for his second job he decides to be a doctor, the Rabbit-Man, Dr. McBride!
t2-young-times_9606_213184c
But if he can handle only two jobs then he can definitely do three! So he decides he’ll build a Radio Broadcasting Tower and be Broadcaster-Rabbit-Man-Doctor McBride! But he’s got lots of brains so he can take on four jobs! He’ll train seals for his fourth job! And of course cow-punching is great! So he’ll do that too! He’ll be the Seal-Training Doctor! The Broadcasting-Rabbit-Man, Two-Gun McBride!

“Yep! I’ll pick the very best job that I can
When I finally grow up and turn into a man.
But now…well, right now when I’m still sort of small,
The best job is dreaming, with no work at all.”

HISTORY:

STEAKYou will not find Charles D. Cohen’s name on the cover of The Bippolo Seed and Other Stories because he is a true and honest Dr. Seuss fan through and through. He knows these stories were written by Seuss and that he should get all the credit. Charles D. Cohen may be my personal hero. He is the author of one of my source books The Seuss, The Whole Seuss, And Nothing But The Seuss.

The Bippolo Seed and Other Stories does include a forward by Charles D. Cohen explaining how these stories came about. Through lots of research and by traveling to several libraries, Cohen was able to put together a collection of short stories that Seuss wrote from 1948 through 1959 for various magazines.

In the forward Cohen tells us about a woman that wrote to Seuss four months before he died saying that, as a child, she loved “The Bippolo Seed” and was wondering if it was ever going to be published in a book. Seuss wrote her back and

“thanked her ‘for still liking that old story’ and explained, ‘For some reason or other it never found its way into a book. But, since you still like it, maybe now it will!‘ Twenty years later, his hopeful prediction has finally come true.”

ZinnigaZinnaga

Charles D. Cohen also reveals that the book A Fish Out of Water by Helen Palmer (Seuss’ first wife) was based on Seuss’ story Gustav the Goldfish.
899608

The two stories are identical in plot points, but Helen’s story does not rhyme and is illustrated by P.D. Eastman (writer and illustrator of Go, Dog, Go! and Are You My Mother?) The illustrations are almost identical in format, but very distinct in style.

stairs-fishBelow is the 1950 Redbook original version of the story. This new collection of Seuss stories includes his original illustrations from this Redbook version and gives the story back it’s rhythm and rhyme.

gustavus

“The Strange Shirt Spot” is obviously familiar. This story was originally published in Redbook in 1951, but Seuss developed it even further in The Cat in the Hat Comes Back in 1958.
cat-in-hat-pink-ringtumblr_mldpxfOq3M1rbz27eo2_500

“These stories reflect a change in Ted’s [Seuss’s real name] approach to writing for children. Before World War II, he did not consider his children’s books particularly important. But after observing German and Japanese children reared on propaganda (which he called ‘the worst educational crime in the entire history of the world’), he began to take his work more seriously, developing a new philosophy about educating children through reading.” – Charles D. Cohen

Cohen also explains that these stories mark a transition in his rhyming style as well. Many of his earliest books do not rhyme, but after a very young child in Salt Lake City, Utah was able to recite Thidwick the Big Hearted Moose in it’s entirety just from hearing it, Seuss realized that the sound of the words was just as important as the visuals he drew to go along with them.

I absolutely love this wonderful collection of stories by Dr. Seuss. Cohen has put together a time capsule and a wonderful insight into how Seuss developed over the years. Cohen hasn’t stopped there. There is a second collection Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories which I will write about in my next post!

Here is a link to a great list of Seuss Redbook publications.

http://1stedition.net/blog/2006/06/dr_seuss_redbook_magazine_orig.html

FAVORITE QUOTE:

“Yep! I’ll pick the very best job that I can
When I finally grow up and turn into a man.
But now…well, right now when I’m still sort of small,
The best job is dreaming, with no work at all.”

– From The Great Henry McBride

FAVORITE IMAGE:

THE-BIPPOLO-SEED_INT_UK_Page_16

Thanks for reading,
Jack St.Rebor

HOORAY FOR DIFFENDOOFER DAY!

51EJD6u96CL Published by Alfred A. Knopf, New York 1998
Text by Dr. Seuss and Jack Prelutsky
Illustrations by Dr. Seuss and Lane Smith
Design by Molly Lench

SUMMARY:

An unnamed young boy introduces us to Diffendoofer School in the town of Dinkerville. He explains that they all love going to school there where they are taught lots of things that he suspects are not taught at most schools.

hp-1877_2z

diffendoofer-school

Then he lists off several of the teachers at Diffendoofer School that teach silly subjects

Miss Bobble teaches listening,
Miss Wobble teaches smelling,
Miss Fribble teaches laughing,
And Miss Quibble teaches yelling.

hp-1877_3z

“Miss Twining teaches tying knots,
In neckerchiefs and noodles,
And how to tell chrysanthemums
From miniature poodles.

Miss Vining teaches all the ways
A pigeon may be peppered,
And how to put a saddle
On a lizard or a leopard.”

hp-1877_4z

Our narrator saves his teacher for last. Her name is Miss Bonkers. She does not seem to have a particular subject, but she covers things like how to tell a cactus from a cow and why hippos cannot fly.

“She even teaches frogs to dance,
And pigs to put on underpants.
One day she taught a duck to sing –
Miss Bonkers teaches EVERYTHING!

Of all the teachers in our school,
I like Miss Bonkers best.
Our teachers are all different,
But she’s different-er than the rest.”

bonkers2

The principle of Diffendoofer School is Mr. Lowe. Our narrator tells us that he is a very sad man. He is constantly worried about wether or not the students are learning the right things. The students think he has false eyebrows that he takes off at night, but they do not know for sure. One thing they do know for sure is that he likes Miss Bonkers.

20150125-142011

The rest of the faculty and staff are explained with a few verses over the next several pages. They are:

Miss Clotte, the nurse
Mr. Plunger, the custodian
Mrs. Fox, the music teacher
Mr. Breeze, the art instructor
Mr. Katz, the science teacher
Mr. Bear, the gym teacher
Miss Loon, the librarian
and three McMunch’s, the cooks.

51YGDB37Q2L._AA300_

Everyone in the school gets along and has a grand old time together. Now that our narrator has introduced everyone he gets into the real conflict of the story. Mr. Lowe’s came to the cafeteria one day extra sad and nervous.

“He began to fuss and fidget,
Scratch and mutter, sneeze and cough.
He shook his head so hard, we thought
His eyebrows would come off.
He wrung his hands, he cleared his throat,
He shed a single tear,
Then sobbed, ‘I’ve something to announce,
And that is why I’m here.”

Mr. Lowe then went on to explain that for miles around every school had to take a test. The test checked who was learning what and which school was teaching the best. If Diffendoofer school did not do well they would be shut down and everyone would have to go to school in Flobbertown!

Now, Flobbertown is just the worst. It is gray and gloomy and everyone dresses the same and walks in a straight line. Their food has no flavor and they do not even have a playground.

hqdefault

Miss Bonkers was optimistic and told everyone not to worry, because she knew that everyone in Diffendoofer had learned what they needed to pass the test.

“We’ve taught you that the earth is round.
That red and white make pink,
And something else that matters more –
We’ve taught you how to think.”

img_0012

Mr. Lowe then announced that the test was in 10 minutes! At first the students were all worried, but as soon as they got the test they realized it was full of stuff they know.

“There were questions about noodles,
About poodles, frogs, and yelling,
About listening and laughing,
And chrysanthemums and smelling.
There were questions about other things
We’d never seen or heard,
And yet we somehow answered them,
Enjoying every word.”

One week later Mr. Lowe, with a big grin and lots of giggles announced that they had saved the school! Not only did they do well on the test, they got the very highest score!

Miss Bonkers was so excited that she did cartwheels and kissed Mr. Lowe on the head. Mr. Lowe was so proud of everyone that he declare the day a holiday. So, from then on that day was known as Diffendoofer Day! He also promised never to wear a frown because he knew they’d never have to go to Flobbertown.

So, they all celebrated and sang the Diffendoofer Song!

50181131

“We love you, Diffendoofer School,
We definitely do.
There surely is no other school
That’s anything like you.
You’re gribbulous, you’re grobbulous,
Each day we love you more.
You are the school we treasure
And unceasingly adore.

Oh, finest school in Dinkerville-
The only one as well-
We love you, Diffendoofer School,
Much more than we can tell.
You are so diffendooferous
It gives us joy to say,
Three cheers for Diffendoofer School-
HOORAY!
HOORAY!
HOORAY!”

The end.

HISTORY:

This is yet another posthumous publication and the dedication, once again, appears in the back. It reads:

In memory of Dr. Seuss
– Jack Prelutsky & Lane Smith

It is a very clear and very simple dedication by the writer and illustrator that used the skeleton of Seuss’ unfinished project to create this fantastic tribute.

Jack Prelutsky is a writer of children’s poetry and lives in Seattle, Washington (shout out to Seattle! woo-hoo!) With titles like It’s Raining Pigs and Noodles and I’m Glad I’m Me: Poems About You it is not at all surprising that he was asked by Janet Schulman, Seuss’ long time editor, to complete a project Seuss had been working on before he died.

Lane Smith famously illustrated The Stinky Cheese Man and The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! (both written by Jon Scieszka.) Janet Schulman also requested the help of Lane Smith who happily obliged to be apart of the project.

true-story-of-the-three-little-pigs-1-638

There is a section in the back of Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! entitled How This Book Came To Be. It is the exact thing that is missing from Daisy-Head Mayzie and My Many Colored Days. It includes several beautifully printed color images of Seuss’ original sketches; many of which have versus written on them. These are paired with an explanation written by Janet Schulman. She explains that Seuss had mentioned a project to her about a zany school teacher. When Seuss died Schulman asked Seuss’ secretary, Claudia Prescott, to send whatever she could find about that particular project.

When Schulman got the documents she realized it was not enough to publish a complete story so she set it aside for years. She final pulled together Prelutsky and Smith and they completed the story.

after1Schulman also points out that much of the story was actually written by Prelutsky, but fits shockingly well with Seuss’s drafts. The illustrations are obviously mostly Smith’s, but there are clear Seuss elements, inspiration, and actual mixed-media-pasted-in images from Seuss’ previous works. The whole book has a beautiful structure and is a fitting tribute without trying to copy Seuss (like Daisy-Head Mayzie), but still includes Seuss style (unlike My Many Colored Days.)

Philip Nel sums it up quite nicely in his book Dr. Seuss: American Icon:

“the section also distinguishes Seuss’s contributes from those of his collaborators, each of whom is quite distinguished in his own right. Poet Jack Prelutsky and illustrator Lane Smith do not merely try to imitate Dr. Seuss: each brings his own distinctive style to the project, and in so doing enters into a genuine Artistic collaboration that succeeds magnificently. The result is not a Dr. Seuss book; it is a Seuss-Prelutsky-Smith book, and a good one at that.”

FAVORITE QUOTE:
I’ve already used this quote in the Summary section, but it’s a great one so here it is again:

“We’ve taught you that the earth is round.
That red and white make pink,
And something else that matters more –
We’ve taught you how to think.”

I especially like it when it is paired with this part, which comes a couple pages later:

“There were questions about other things
We’d never seen or heard,
And yet we somehow answered them,
Enjoying every word.”

As someone who works with and around the educational system these two quotes are an ideal to strive for; teaching kids fun things and most importantly teaching them to think for themselves. To use their noodles! And then seeing that reflected in kids enjoying tests; enjoying showing off what they know and wanting to learn more!

FAVORITE IMAGE:

This page does a great job of showing the wonderful balance between Seuss’ own work and the illustrations of Lane Smith, plus that cow is just so silly!02c5fea5b834874adcc83cb174ed7cde

Thanks for reading,
Jack St.Rebor

MY MANY COLORED DAYS

1340280679975977

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(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.

SUMMARY:

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.

blue

 

“You’d be surprised how many ways I change on Different Colored Days.”

 

240535_373950_1330379398
My_Many_Colored_Days_Seuss1
maxresdefault

240535_373953_1330379402
purple

Toward the end of the book we see our cookie-cutter character in all the different colors expressed throughout the book. He/she is scattered across the page.

“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.”

2012-01-17_003

HISTORY:

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”.

FAVORITE QUOTE:

“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.

FAVORITE IMAGE:

Especially compared to my favorite quote, this page is so alive and fun! I love these days!

yellow

Thanks for reading,
Jack St.Rebor

 

New Dr. Seuss book!!!

 

USA Today posted some big news for Seuss lovers yesterday. There will be a new Dr. Seuss book! Looks like I started my posthumous section just in time.

Audrey Geisel (Dr. Seuss aka Theodor Geisel’s widow) seems to have a secret stash of Seuss’ notes that she teases us with every couple of years. This time it is a book called What Pet Should I Get? (a very promising title!)

635598498970365553-AP-Random-House-Dr-Seuss

Hopefully this publication will follow in the footsteps of Charles Cohen’s (author of The Seuss, The Whole Seuss, and Nothing but the Seuss) collections such as The Bippolo Seed and Other Stories and last years Horton and the Kwuggerbug.

Mr. Cohen does an amazing job of showing us the history of these works and including as much of Dr. Seuss original sketches as can be found. The are only updated to make them smooth and cohesive like any publication Seuss would have done himself while he was alive.

I’m hoping it will not be like Daisy-Head Mayzie; full of changed lines, obvious non-Seussian language and ridiculous attempts to copy his illustrations. Goodness me, I got a little mean there.

Either way I am very excited for this new publication! And I’ll have a post about as soon as I can get my hands on a copy!

Thanks for reading,
Jack St.Rebor