What’s better than a lost treasure? Seven lost treasures! These rarely seen Dr. Seuss stories were published in magazines in the early 1950s and are finally available in book form. They include “The Bippolo Seed” (in which a scheming feline leads a duck toward a bad decision), “The Rabbit, the Bear, and the Zinniga-Zanniga” (about a rabbit who is saved from a bear by a single eyelash), “Gustav, the Goldfish” (an early rhymed version of the Beginner Book A Fish Out of Water), “Tadd and Todd” (about a twin who is striving to be an individual), “Steak for Supper” (in which fantastic creatures follow a boy home in anticipation of a steak dinner), “The Strange Shirt Spot” (the inspiration for the bathtub-ring scene in The Cat in the Hat Comes Back), and “The Great Henry McBride” (about a boy whose far-flung career fantasies are bested only by those of Dr. Seuss himself). An introduction by Seuss scholar Charles D. Cohen traces the history of the stories, which demonstrate an intentional move toward the writing style we now associate with Dr. Seuss. Cohen also explores the themes that recur in well-known Seuss stories (like the importance of the imagination or the perils of greed). With a color palette enhanced beyond the limitations of the original magazines, this is a collection that no Seuss fan (whether scholar or second grader) will want to miss.
This volume collects seven joyous Seuss stories that were published in Redbook in 1950 and 1951 but had never appeared in book form. In an insightful introduction, Seussian scholar Charles D. Cohen notes that Seuss wrote these tales at a transitional point in his career, when he grasped the importance of using the sounds of words to hook children on reading. The stories' rhymed couplets are pitch-perfect, the verse's rhythm as snappy as in any of Seuss's better-known works. In the title story, a duck and a cat's greed spins out of control as they imagine everything that they'll wish for from a magical seed. In "Steak for Supper," an outlandish menagerie follows a boy home to dine: "A Nupper for supper! A Gritch! And a Grickle!/ And also an Ikka! Oh, boy! What a pickle!" These creatures and others are portrayed with Seuss's trademark exaggeration and whimsy. The limitations of the source material are occasionally apparent the longer stories overcrowd certain pages with text, the artwork sometimes feeling stretched to fit the format. Regardless, fans old and young will deem these "lost" stories a tremendous find. Ages 6 9.