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The Lost Dr. Seuss — Found!

“It’s the literary equivalent of buried treasure!” That’s more than just publisher’s hyperbole. It might just be the best description of The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories, published last fall in hardcover by Random House. For the first time it collects together 7 original stories by Dr. Seuss that have not seen the light of day since they were first published in magazines from 1948 to 1959. From Amazon: “Seuss scholar/collector Charles D. Cohen has hunted down seven rarely seen stories by Dr. Seuss. Originally published in magazines between 1948 and 1959, they include ‘The Bear, the Rabbit, and the Zinniga-Zanniga’ (about a rabbit who is saved from a bear with a single eyelash!); ‘Gustav the Goldfish’ (an early, rhymed version of the Beginner Book ‘A Fish Out of Water’); ‘Tadd and Todd’ (a tale passed down via photocopy to generations of twins); ‘Steak for Supper’ (about fantastic creatures who follow a boy home in anticipation of a steak dinner); ‘The Bippolo Seed’ (in which a scheming feline leads an innocent duck to make a bad decision); ‘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 only bested by those of the real Dr. Seuss himself). In an introduction to the collection, Cohen traces the history of these stories, which demonstrate an intentional and significant change that led to the writing style we associate with Dr. Seuss today. Cohen also explores these stories’ themes that recur in better-known Seuss stories (like the importance of the imagination, or the perils of greed). With a color palette that has been enhanced beyond the limitations of the original magazines in which they appeared, this is a collection of stories that no Seuss fan (whether scholar or second-grader) will want to miss!” It’s also available as an audio book CD with stories being read by the likes of Neil Patrick Harris, Anjelica Houston, Jason Lee, Joan Cusack, and more.

image c. 2011 Random House