The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories

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Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Gift givers and gift receivers alike will cherish this new collection of illustrated stories by Dr. Seuss (a.k.a. Theodor Geisel). These seven lively tales originally appeared in small magazines; now, six decades later, they are being published in book form for the first time.

Lisa Dugan

Publishers Weekly
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. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
These seven "new" stories by Dr. Seuss/Theodore Geisel/aka Theo LeSieg and even Rosetta Stone (1904-1991) were not exactly lost, rather rediscovered as published in Redbook magazine between 1948 and 1959. At any rate, it is good to have them back, along with Charles D. Cohen's (the world's foremost Seuss scholar and collector of Seussiana) lengthy introduction setting the stories in context with more familiar titles. Thus we learn that "Gustav, the Goldfish," was later reincarnated as the now classic Beginner Book, A Fish Out of Water written by Theodore Geisel's first wife, Helen Palmer, with illustrations by P.D. Eastman, a old army friend of Geisel. The stories are, indeed, identical, though ?"Gustav" soars with its classic Seuss rhymes. All these stories presage later Seuss themes. ?The Bippolo "Seed" is about a magical wish-giving seed and the duck who loses all his wishes by being too greedy. It has a great pre-Cat in the Hat, too. "Steak for Supper" introduces the first long line of Seuss's loveable trademark grotesqueries: a Gritch and a Grickle, an Ikka and a Wheef, not to mention a Nupper. "The Rabbit, the Bear, and the Zinniga-Zanniga" is the author's salute to Aesop, while ?Tadd and Todd' explores the frustrations of twinhood. All these tales have the content of greatness—it is only their presentation that differs from later published books. The text comes in great blocks with not nearly enough Seuss illustrations. But the true aficionado will overcome what is missing to revel in what exists: the soaring story rhymes of more Dr, Seuss! Reviewer: Kathleen Karr
Kirkus Reviews

Seven rhymed tales, dug from hard to find places! Look for millions of Seuss fans with bright shiny faces!

As Seuss scholar Charles D. Cohen notes in his buoyant introduction, the stories—all published in magazines in the early 1950s, but never elsewhere except, for some, in audio editions—catch Ted Geisel at the time he gave over writing in prose, inspired by new insight into the capacity of children to absorb and enjoy words and word sounds. His command of language and cadence is sure, while the pedantry that sometimes weighed down his later work is also visible but only lightly applied: Extreme greed leads to the loss of a wish-granting seed in the title story, for instance, and an overfed "Gustav, the Goldfish" outgrows every container. (The latter story is an early version of an unrhymed tale published by Seuss' first wife, Helen Palmer, as A Fish Out Of Water.) In other premises that saw service elsewhere, "The Great Henry McBride" ambitiously daydreams of future careers, and a "Strange Shirt Spot" keeps moving from place to place despite a frantic lad's efforts to remove it. The buffed-up illustrations look brand new, and despite occasional signs of age—"Oranges! Apples! And all kinds of fruits! / And nine billion Hopalong Cassidy suits!"—the writing is as fresh, silly and exhilarating as it must have been when first seen.

The good Doctor may be dead these 20 years, but he's still good for splendid surprises. (Picture book. 6-9)

From the Publisher
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, August 19, 2011:
"The stories' rhymed couplets are pitch-perfect, the verse's rhythm as snappy as in any of Seuss's better-known works...[F]ans old and young will deem these 'lost' stories a tremendous find."

Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2011:
"The buffed-up illustrations look brand new, and...the writing is as fresh, silly and exhilarating as it must have been when first seen. The good Doctor may be dead these 20 years, but he’s still good for splendid surprises."

 ChildrensBooksGuide.com, 2011's Best Children's Books
"…Everything you’d expect from this master… Chock full of rhyming, goofy characters and whimsical illustrations."

San Francisco Chronicle, October 30, 2011 
"...A treasure trove from one of the greats of children's literature...an unexpected treat...  The collection sings with Geisel's trademark rhyme, rhythm, wordplay and serious silly streak.  A must-have addition to your Seuss collection."

BoingBoing.net, October 27, 2011
"...A new Seuss collection is reason to celebrate...and Bippolo Seed is more than a curiosity or a completist's collection of offcuts — much of the material in this book stands with Seuss's best-loved work.  The illustrations are classic Seuss and full of wit and irreverence…"

The Atlantic, September 27, 2011
"...A fantastic new collection...More than just a literary gem, which it certainly is…"

The Baltimore Examiner, September 28, 2011
"Truly a great piece of treasure for your family's library!"

USA Today, October 5, 2011
"Did you know a bunch of 'lost' Dr. Seuss stories were unearthed recently?...As one would expect with Seuss, they're incredibly clever."

Wired.com, September 28, 2011
"The stories are pure Seuss — you cannot mistake the artwork or the made up words...my son...enjoyed them for what they are— little stories that teach some sort of lesson."

The Mac Observer, October 18, 2011
"If you or someone you know, whether large or small, is a Seuss fan, go get a copy of The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories...it’s excellent stuff."

Cracking the Cover (blog), October 13, 2011
"Books by Dr. Seuss are classic...passed on from generation to generation… When he died in 1991…no one expected to see new work from him again… Each of these tales is a rhythmical delight with the tongue-twisting text we’ve come to expect from Dr. Seuss. The illustrations are wacky, playful and colorful...and each of these tales is sure to spark imagination."

Readings.com, September 26, 2011
"...Clever, witty and engaging, with pitch-perfect rhyming couplets and his distinctive illustrations…they will provide...readers with the sheer delight of enjoying more Seuss-isms."

Apptudes.com, October 5, 2011
"Little imaginations will be delighted with more nonsensical Seussish characters to love and entertaining stories with which to sharpen their reading skills…Each story is chock full of Dr Seuss genius and inventive use of words…"

Giggleapps.com, October 17, 2011
"A wonderful anthology of stories…, each full of the wondrous Dr. Seuss style of imaginative...characters, beautifully odd illustrations, and fantastical rhyming prose… They are important works of early Dr. Seuss."

BestAppsforKids.com, October 19, 2011
"Fans of Dr. Seuss will especially love this addition to the collection...and [it] will surely become a bedtime favorite…Dr. Seuss is always great and these "lost stories" are bound to delight."

Digital-Storytime.com, September 27, 2011
"…A wonderful collection of seven stories… They are exceptional and will enchant both young readers and older ones alike… the illustrations are also exceptional, capturing the familiar whimsy of Seuss…"

Excelsiorfile, October 11, 2011
"A collection of tales featuring…that cadence…that is as distinctly Seuss as iambic pantamenter is to Shakespeare.  To read the book…it is almost impossible to not begin by reading aloud…and to do so…reveals some interesting information about…the development of that cadence we know by heart and memory...  And for those older Seuss fans its an even better reminder of what can and should be expected in terms of books for young readers."

Hooray for Books! Indepedent Bookstore, October 14, 2011
"Fans of Seuss will know to expect outlandish creatures, exuberant rhyme, funny adventures, and even a little food for thought. You’ll find all that and more in 'Bippolo Seed.'  This book is a fantastic find for Seuss fans of all ages...!"

Barnes and Noble, September 2011
"Children, their parents, and their grandparents will all treasure this singular batch of rarely seen…stories…these tales exude the sprightliness that we have all come to associate with the…master."

Lunch.com, September 30, 2011
"I tip my hat to Dr. Cohen for his love of Dr. Seuss' vision and the work that went into tracking down these tales. If not for him, future generations might never have been able to experience this amazing collection."

School Library Journal
K-Gr 6—Seven stories published in magazines from 1948 to '59 appear with their original texts and illustrations, all of which have been technologically enhanced. In a lengthy introduction, Seuss scholar Charles D. Cohen describes his research in uncovering these stories and the ways in which they resonate with familiar Seussian elements and themes. Youngsters see the folly of greed when the duck in "The Bippolo Seed" wants more than he needs and ends up with nothing. The message in "The Rabbit, the Bear, and the Zinniga-Zanniga" is that, "…when you fight with Big Guys.../A bit of Quick-Thinking/counts much more than size!" An illustration of the foolish bear atop the tree while the rabbit escapes adds to the fun. "Gustav, the Goldfish" and "The Strange Shirt Spot" demonstrate the consequences of not following the rules. Unable to settle on one occupation, the protagonist in "The Great Henry McBride" dreams big, convincing himself and children everywhere that they can be and do anything. The delightful rhythm, tongue-tickling language, and trademark art exemplify how Seuss's work has delighted generations of readers and made learning to read fun.—Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375864353
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 9/27/2011
  • Pages: 72
  • Sales rank: 139,988
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.24 (w) x 8.26 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Theodor Seuss Geisel—aka Dr. Seuss—is, quite simply, one of the most beloved children’s book authors of all time. The forty-four books he wrote and illustrated under the name Dr. Seuss (and others that he wrote but did not illustrate, including some under the pseudonyms Theo. LeSieg and Rosetta Stone) have been translated into thirty languages. Hundreds of millions of copies have found their way into homes and hearts around the world. Dr. Seuss’s long list of awards includes Caldecott Honors for McElligot’s Pool, If I Ran the Zoo, and Bartholomew and the Oobleck; the Pulitzer Prize; and eight honorary doctorates. Works based on his original stories have won three Oscars, three Emmys, three Grammys, and a Peabody.

Biography

Now that generations of readers have been reared on The Cat in the Hat and Fox in Socks, it's easy to forget how colorless most children's books were before Dr. Seuss reinvented the genre. When the editorial cartoonist Theodor Seuss Geisel wrote And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street in 1936, the book was turned down by 27 publishers, many of whom said it was "too different." Geisel was about to burn his manuscript when it was rescued and published, under the pen name Dr. Seuss, by a college classmate.

Over the next two decades, Geisel concocted such delightfully loopy tales as The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins and Horton Hears a Who. Most of his books earned excellent reviews, and three received Caldecott Honor Awards. But it was the 1957 publication of The Cat in the Hat that catapulted Geisel to celebrity.

Rudolf Flesch's book Why Johnny Can't Read, along with a related Life magazine article, had recently charged that children's primers were too pallid and bland to inspire an interest in reading. The Cat in the Hat, written with 220 words from a first-grade vocabulary list, "worked like a karate chop on the weary little world of Dick, Jane and Spot," as Ellen Goodman wrote in The Detroit Free Press. With its vivid illustrations, rhyming text and topsy-turvy plot, Geisel's book for beginning readers was anything but bland. It sold nearly a million copies within three years.

Geisel was named president of Beginner Books, a new venture of Random House, where he worked with writers and artists like P.D. Eastman, Michael Frith, Al Perkins, and Roy McKie, some of whom collaborated with him on book projects. For books he wrote but didn't illustrate, Geisel used the pen name Theo LeSieg (LeSieg is Geisel spelled backwards).

As Dr. Seuss, he continued to write bestsellers. Some, like Green Eggs and Ham and the tongue-twisting Fox in Socks, were aimed at beginning readers. Others could be read by older children or read aloud by parents, who were often as captivated as their kids by Geisel's wit and imagination. Geisel's visual style appealed to television and film directors, too: The animator Chuck Jones, who had worked with Geisel on a series of Army training films, brought How the Grinch Stole Christmas! to life as a hugely popular animated TV special in 1966. A live-action movie starring Jim Carrey as the Grinch was released in 2000.

Many Dr. Seuss stories have serious undertones: The Butter Battle Book, for example, parodies the nuclear arms race. But whether he was teaching vocabulary words or values, Geisel never wrote plodding lesson books. All his stories are animated by a lively sense of visual and verbal play. At the time of his death in 1991, his books had sold more than 200 million copies. Bennett Cerf, Geisel's publisher, liked to say that of all the distinguished authors he had worked with, only one was a genius: Dr. Seuss.

Good To Know

The Cat in the Hat was written at the urging of editor William Spaulding, who insisted that a book for first-graders should have no more than 225 words. Later, Bennett Cerf bet Geisel $50 that he couldn't write a book with just 50 words. Geisel won the bet with Green Eggs and Ham, though to his recollection, Cerf never paid him the $50.

Geisel faced another challenge in 1974, when his friend Art Buchwald dared him to write a political book. Geisel picked up a copy of Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! and a pen, crossed out each mention of the name "Marvin K. Mooney," and replaced it with "Richard M. Nixon." Buchwald reprinted the results in his syndicated column. Nine days later, President Nixon announced his resignation.

The American Heritage Dictionary says the word "nerd" first appeared in print in the Dr. Seuss book If I Ran the Zoo: "And then, just to show them, I'll sail to Ka-Troo / And bring back an It-Kutch a Preep and a Proo / A Nerkle a Nerd and a Seersucker, too!" The word "grinch," after the title character in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, is defined in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary as a killjoy or spoilsport.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Theodor Seuss Geisel (full name); also: Theo LeSieg, Rosetta Stone
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 2, 1904
    2. Place of Birth:
      Springfield, Massachusetts
    1. Date of Death:
      September 4, 1991
    2. Place of Death:
      La Jolla, California

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2011

    Teachers Will Rejoice!

    Teachers everywhere are eagerly awaiting the arrival of this latest Suess book so that a whole new generation of children can be exposed to the talent and imagination of Dr. Seuss. Thanks to Charles Cohen for finding these lost treasures!

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted November 21, 2011

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