Dr. Seuss’s posthumous book – and wacky Seuss facts you’ll love

Cat in the Hat hat

Seven new Dr. Seuss stories have been discovered, and they have been published in a new book called The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss.

The stories were published in the 1950s in magazines, but they have never been put into book form before. They have been published by Random House.

Charles D. Cohen discovered the stories. He is a dentist by trade but a serious Dr. Seuss scholar on the side. He has the largest private collection of Seuss memorabilia in the world.

The new book has seven stories in it, including Steak for Supper, about fantastic creatures who follow a boy home hoping for a steak dinner; The Bippolo Seed, in which a scheming feline leads an innocent duck to make a bad decision, and The Strange Shirt Spot, which was the inspiration for the bathtub-ring scene in The Cat in the Hat Comes Back.

Random House calls the stories in this book a departure from his rhyming approach to kid-lit.

Share these outrageous Seuss facts with your kids (you may have to censor some of them)

* His real name was Theodor (Ted) Geisel.

* His car license plate was GRINCH.

* He wrote 44 books for children.

* Some of his most popular books are: And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street (his first book, published in 1937), The Cat in the Hat (1957), Green Eggs and Ham (1960), One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (1960), Oh, the Places You’ll Go! (1990) and Hop on Pop (1963).

* He won a Pulitzer Prize for Literature, an Academy Award, three Emmy Awards and a Grammy. (A Grammy!)

* Why did he change his name from Geisel to Seuss? He got in trouble in college (drinking in his dorm room, yes that’s what I said) and the dean said he could no longer be editor of the school magazine where he published his cartoons. Instead of stopping, he just published his cartoons under different names: L. Pasteur, D. G. Rossetti, T. Seuss and Seuss. He used “Dr.” to jokingly make his name sound more important. (Dr. Rebel, if you ask me.)

* He nearly became a scholar but his girlfriend, Helen Palmer, (who he married in 1927) pointed out that he was more of a draw-er than a scholar.

* His first job out of college was drawing ads, including an ad for a bug spray called Flit. Everyone became familiar with his ad’s catchphrase, “Quick, Henry – the Flit!”Dr. Seuss's Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories

* He started writing for children because his contract with the ad agency precluded him from writing for adults.

* Seuss never had any children with his first wife, Helen Palmer. However, they “made up” lots of pretend children: Chrysantemum-Pearl, Norval, Wally, Wickersham, Miggles, Boo-Boo and Thnud. They would invite neighbourhood children over to pose with them for their annual Christmas card and tell everyone, “these are our children.”

* More than two dozen publishers rejected his first book, And To Think That I Saw it On Mulberry Street. Seuss was walking down Madison Avenue, about to throw his manuscript away, when he met up with an old school chum, Mike McClintock. McClintock was an editor with Vanguard Press, and immediately gave Seuss his first book contract. Seuss later would say that if he’d been walking on the other side of the street he might have ended up a dry cleaner.

* Several of his books (Yertle the Turtle, The Sneetches, Horton Hears a Who!) were written as metaphors against racism. The famous phrase from Horton, “A person’s a person, no matter how small,” offers “a rhymed lesson in protection of minorities and their rights,” the Des Moines Register wrote in a book review.

* He wrote Cat in the Hat because he was frustrated by reports about low literacy rates among children. He felt that kids needed more interesting beginner-reader books than Dick and Jane.

* He wrote Green Eggs and Ham after someone bet him he couldn’t write a book using less than 50 words.

Related Links

The publisher of the new book is Random House.

Random House’s Dr. Seuss website.

See how many Dr. Seuss books you recognize.

There are (not surprisingly – did you read those facts?!) a number of biographies about Dr. Seuss. We got our facts from the Random House site and there’s plenty more where they came from. Read more about Dr. Seuss’s fascinating life.

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