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Dr. Seuss gets posthumous front page

"What Pet" is lead review in New York Times

At last, the pseudo-controversy over Harper Lee's "Go Set a Watchman" — was it a draft of "To Kill a Mockingbird?" — may move over for a genuine undiscovered book that reveals the author's greatness.

The book section of yesterday's New York Times (july 26) gives the entire front page to the heretofore closeted children's book by La Jolla's Ted (Dr. Seuss) Geisel, who died in 1991. His book, "What Pet Should I Get?" has been published by Random House. Apparently, the book had been lying in the Geisel residence all this time.

Reviewer Maria Russo writes that "the book is, if not top-flight Seuss, a very good example of his particular genius of distilling both the spirit of the times and the timeless mind-set of children." Any parent who has spent hours and hours reading Seuss to children would agree.

Continued Russo, "With its galloping anapests, cockamamie creatures, and kids off on an everyday adventure that turns hallucinogenic, this late arrival will slip easily into the collection that changed how Americans learned to read."

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At last, the pseudo-controversy over Harper Lee's "Go Set a Watchman" — was it a draft of "To Kill a Mockingbird?" — may move over for a genuine undiscovered book that reveals the author's greatness.

The book section of yesterday's New York Times (july 26) gives the entire front page to the heretofore closeted children's book by La Jolla's Ted (Dr. Seuss) Geisel, who died in 1991. His book, "What Pet Should I Get?" has been published by Random House. Apparently, the book had been lying in the Geisel residence all this time.

Reviewer Maria Russo writes that "the book is, if not top-flight Seuss, a very good example of his particular genius of distilling both the spirit of the times and the timeless mind-set of children." Any parent who has spent hours and hours reading Seuss to children would agree.

Continued Russo, "With its galloping anapests, cockamamie creatures, and kids off on an everyday adventure that turns hallucinogenic, this late arrival will slip easily into the collection that changed how Americans learned to read."

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Comments
32

More for Audrey Geisel, Dr. Seuss' business-minded widow, who marketed the so-so stage-play of his wonderful book "How The Grinch Stole Christmas."

July 27, 2015

monaghan: Her late husband, Ted (Dr. Seuss) Geisel, was very good at marketing, too. Best, Don Bauder

July 27, 2015

What happened to Geisel's previous wife?

July 28, 2015

You mean the one who committed suicide almost 50 yrs ago??

July 28, 2015

danfogel: Again, I plead ignorance to Ted Seuss Geisel's history. Best, Don Bauder

July 30, 2015

Twister: I am not aware of a previous wife, but I haven't checked his biography. Best, Don Bauder

July 30, 2015

I think the story was back then Audrey was the "other woman" while Ted was married. I figured she died of a broken heart.

July 29, 2015

She was despondent over the affair. But she had also been quite ill for some time. She also was several years older than Geisel, I think in her seventies, which was well past the average life expectancy of someone born before 1900.

July 29, 2015

danfogel: I loved reading Dr. Seuss to our sons, but I never had any interest in the author's private life. Best, Don Bauder

July 30, 2015

don bauder, Some time after his death, PBS showed a very good film about his life. It focused more on the parts of his life away from the Dr. Seuss persona, such as his advocating for political and social change, condemning isolationism and attacking anti-Semitism, to the environment. It also delved into his World War II era cartoons and his educational and propaganda film work. As I recall, it was very interesting.

July 30, 2015

danfogel: Anyone who could create the weird characters he did has to have had an interesting background. Best, Don Bauder

July 31, 2015

It's been oft said that reality is stranger than fiction. Or more simply put, sometimes you just can't make this sh!t up!

July 31, 2015

danfogel: But Geisel did make stuff up -- masterfully. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 2, 2015

shirleyberan: Children will be unhappy to hear of this dirty laundry -- if it is true. Best, Don Bauder

July 30, 2015

don bauder, I also read Dr. Seuss to our daughter. She loved it, probably still does. His work as Seuss was iconic. That said, I highly doubt any children would even pay attention to the "dirty laundry." It was over 50 yrs ago, is pretty well know, at least to people I know. And I doubt most parents would consider it necessary to even bring it up with their kids.

July 30, 2015

danfogel: Ted Geisel and his wife seemed to be regularly in Burl Stiff's columns. I doubt that there was a word about his private life. Best, Don Bauder

July 31, 2015

Don - I read to children too. I think it's iambic pentameter but I am more interested in truth, not myth.

July 30, 2015

Most of his books were written in anapestic tetrameter, which according to a glossary of petic terms is: "a poetic meter that has four anapestic metrical feet per line. Each foot has two unstressed syllables followed by a stressed syllable. It is sometimes referred to as a "reverse dactyl", and shares the rapid, driving pace of the dactyl"

July 30, 2015

danfogel: I read Dr. Seuss books to our children for many wonderful years, and never gave anapestic tetrameter a thought. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 1, 2015

don bauder I never gave any thought at all to what meter his books were written in. I enjoyed them as a kid, my daughter did when she was young and that's all I cared about. My daughter has the books that my parents read to me from and I to her, and if she ever has children, no doubt she will do the same, all without thought of which meter they are written in.

Aug. 1, 2015

danfogel: I enjoyed "Scrambled Eggs Super" more than my sons did. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 2, 2015

don bauder Personally, I prefer omelets to scrambled eggs. In fact, I just ate one couple of hours ago.

Aug. 2, 2015

shirleyberan: If you are not interested in myth, don't read Dr. Seuss books. Best, Don Bauder

July 31, 2015

Did not flag

July 30, 2015

There's grief enough to go around, but the story not being told has the earmarks of a cover up. Perhaps the book might be titled, "Out, Damn Spot!" Truth, not myth, indeed.

July 30, 2015

Twister: I never found that a Seuss book referred to Shakespeare, but I may be wrong on that. Best, Don Bauder

July 31, 2015

I'm not sure if the situation with his previous wife was the fault of Dr. Seuss himself, but there seems to be a lot of gossip about his last wife with respect the previous one before the latter died. Sunlight will either fade out the spot or reveal more; when one resists sunlight, it appears that one is keeping it out of the light for some reason. That opens the door to speculation and further gossip.

July 31, 2015

Twister: You mean sunlight is the best disinfectant? It's a truism. Best, Don Bauder

July 31, 2015

I guess the facts will stay buried.

July 31, 2015

Twister: Buried in a cat's hat. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 1, 2015

Sally M. Gall: If the Wikipedia account is true, this is a poignant story. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 2, 2015

I wonder if Gall knows more than the Wikipedia account reveals?

This entry https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr._Seuss mentions Helen as little as possible. Perhaps that's best, perhaps not. Is a cloud of suspicion better than a complete revelation? But I reckon it's nobody's business but theirs, and they're all unable to defend themselves against gossip. Or an adult book--of fiction, of course. Unless there's a dirt-daubing biographer out there . . .

Aug. 2, 2015

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