‘Pet’: A new Dr. Seuss is on the loose!

24 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Pet’: A new Dr. Seuss is on the loose!.

First came Go Set a Watchman, the instant best seller by Harper Lee that’s making waves for its shocking portrayal of Atticus Finch as a bigot, if not exactly winning critical plaudits.The bones of the new story What Pet Should I Get? were found among the late Theodor Seuss Geisel’s orphaned art, imaginings and other creative work by his widow Audrey and an assistant. Seuss is famous for creating The Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish and countless other kids’ classics, but it turns out he didn’t share all the animals in his whimsical world before he died in 1991. A brother and sister go to the pet store with permission from Mom and Dad (who are nowhere in sight) to “pick just one” pet to bring home by noon.

An advance copy of the book, reviewed in rhyme Sunday by The New York Times, presents a characteristically whimsical work, centered on two children struggling to decide what pet to take home from the store. The long-lost manuscript for the book was discovered in October 2013 by the author’s widow, Audrey Geisel, among a box of abandoned doodles – or as Dr.

It’s believed that Seuss — who apparently tinkered on several ideas at the same time — created the story and illustrations, labeled “The Pet Shop” in a folder, between 1958 and 1962. Former designer and art director Goldsmith began working with Seuss in 1978 and helped him complete work on his final book in 1990, Oh, the Places You’ll Go! He never got around to coloring in the illustrations with colored pencils, as he usually did, and the typed text that he had taped to the drawings had come loose over the years. The tale captures a classic childhood moment — choosing a pet — and uses it to illuminate a life lesson: that it is hard to make up your mind, but sometimes you just have to do it!

And kudos to Random House for an eight-page afterward explaining the story behind Pet’s discovery and publication (something that would have behooved Harper Lee’s publisher), and for suggesting that 21st-century families shouldn’t adopt from pet stores. (PETA has applauded.) Once Goldsmith and her colleagues at Random House decided on a color scheme, they had to determine which versions of Geisel’s original text to use – as there were often multiple to choose from, taped one on top of the other on the illustrations. “We had some sorting to do,” she says. “But it’s not unlike what happens when you work on any book.

Seuss stories — short, snappy rhymes that together form a book that’s fun to read aloud.” President and publisher of Random House Children’s Books, Barbara Marcus, announced in April that the books first printing was increased from 500,000 to 1 million copies because demand was so high. “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,” she said in a statement in February. But he did a pretty good job of leaving us prepared so that was the good news.” More good news: The manuscript wasn’t the only thing Geisel’s widow recovered from the box of forsaken doodles. I don’t know what if anything can be done with them, but somebody will put their mind to that at some point.” “What I always say to myself when I work on something of his without him is, ‘If he were here and still alive, he would be writing books for kids and helping us publish them – but he’s not.’ And so we do the best we can based on what we learned from him.” The notes, written in easy-to-read language, also mention how decades ago, pet shops were the common place to get an animal; here the publisher advocates adopting a pet from a shelter or rescue organization.

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