Wednesday, 17 February 2016

New from Dr. Seuss - 25 years after his death


USA Writer & Illustrator

Ted Geisel AKA Dr Seuss

Horton and the Kwuggerbug and more lost stories

HarperCollins  2016  $24.95hb 45pp  

Themes:  Stories in rhyme

It seems almost too good to be true! Four new stories about characters we have all loved and known for so many years  (Horton the elephant/ Marco/ Officer Pat plus a new short but subtle tale about The Grinch) have been discovered 25 years after their author and illustrator died in 1991. The text (there seems to be more than in the earlier books) is a delight to read aloud and the stories themselves give us new insights into the familiar characters.

Another lost script has also just been published – What Pet Should I get? ISBN 978 0 00871 7078 3. While children will of course love it for its being by Dr Seuss, to me it lacks the depth of the other title and reads more like a draft (which it possibly was). However, there is a fascinating 11 page article at the end of the book written by the publisher which explores the discovery of the manuscripts and gives a background to Dr Seuss’s  creative processes and his inspiration. It is most definitely worth adding to the ‘Seuss Collection’.
Year 1 up/ Age 5 up

In later years. Image: Seuss Enterprises

Dr Seuss and Me

Many many years ago (probably about 50) Dr. Seuss came to Wellington. At that time I was a Librarian at the Wellington Public Libraries and it fell to me to organise an early evening ‘lecture’. Innocently I thought I would only have to seat him on the stage, ask a few basic questions and he would keep us entertained for the next three quarters of an hour (with questions). The event was held in the old Lecture Theatre underneath what is now the City Gallery and had a minuscule stage. On it was room for three small chairs for the speaker, his publicist and me. There were children and their adults everywhere – packing tight on the floor right up to the stage (no Fire Regulations in force then, obviously). Dr Seuss and his wife arrived to much cheering and clapping. But there was a problem.  Dr Seuss turned out to be desperately shy and said he could only speak if his wife (Helen Geisel) came and sat beside him and the publicist took her vacated seat . She turned out to be a brilliant speaker, drew her husband out and turned what could have been a disaster into a magic evening for us all.   (I am sure Dr Seuss became a very witty and confident speaker and I know from then on I always made sure I had prepared any event I was asked to chair in the greatest detail!)

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