Thursday, November 3, 2011

Lost Dr. Seuss Stories

Today I received a copy of The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss. A collection of stories originally published in magazines in 1950 and 1951. This collection of lost stories was compiled by Charles D. Cohen, the world's foremost scholar and collector of all things Seussian.

An introduction at the beginning of the book is most educational about Seuss and his early career as a writer of children's stories. For example, I didn't know that one of my favorite books, A Fish Out of Water by Helen Palmer was written by Ted Giesel's first wife. She based her story on one he had published early in his career, Gustav, the Goldfish (included in the new book).

Did you know that Ted Geisel also had careers as a political cartoonist, in the US Army and as a animator and screen writer.  Before WWII, Dr. Seuss did not consider writing children's books particularly important. But after seeing German and Japanese children grow up reading war propaganda literature, which he said was the worst educational crime in the history of the world, he developed a new philosophy about educating children through reading. A chance encounter in Salt Lake City with a toddler who could recite word for word the book, Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose changed how Ted looked at the rhyme and cadence of his work. Since this small child could not read Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose he had learned the story by how it sounded as it was read to him. After his visit to Utah he had a new appreciation for the way his work sounded.

The stories included in this volume are some of the stories that Ted wrote as a way to promote reading by how the book sounded when read aloud.  The illustrations whose color has been enhanced far beyond the limitations of the magazines in which they first appeared are a beautiful addition to the text and purely Seussical. Want to know more about this great cache of Seuss stories? Go to http://www.seussville.com/ and visit the video tab where there is an interview with Cohen and how this book came to be published by Random House. While you are visiting Seussville have fun with your children playing the fun interactive games there.

Michele, Children's Librarian

1 comment:

Dannon Loveland said...

I am a big fan of Dr. Seuss and I have check-out my fair share of Dr. Seuss books from the Brigham City Library. Thanks for sharing.