The Cat in the Hat Comes Back

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Overview

Back in 1957, Theodor Geisel responded to an article in Life magazine that lamented the use of boring reading primers in schools. Using the pseudonym of "Dr. Seuss" (Seuss was Geisel's middle name) and only two hundred twenty-three words, Geisel created a replacement for those dull primers: "The Cat in the Hat." The instant success of the book prompted Geisel and his wife to found Beginner Books, and Geisel wrote many popular books in this series, including "Hop on Pop," "Fox in Socks," and "Green Eggs and Ham." ...

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Overview

Back in 1957, Theodor Geisel responded to an article in Life magazine that lamented the use of boring reading primers in schools. Using the pseudonym of "Dr. Seuss" (Seuss was Geisel's middle name) and only two hundred twenty-three words, Geisel created a replacement for those dull primers: "The Cat in the Hat." The instant success of the book prompted Geisel and his wife to found Beginner Books, and Geisel wrote many popular books in this series, including "Hop on Pop," "Fox in Socks," and "Green Eggs and Ham." Other favorite titles in this series are "Go, Dog, Go!" and "Are You My Mother?" by P. D. Eastman, "A Fly Went By," by Mike McClintock, and "Put Me in the Zoo," by Robert Lopshire. These affordable hardcover books combine large print, easy vocabulary, and large, bright illustrations in stories kids will want to read again and again. Grades 1 - Grades 2.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
‘Dr. Seuss ignites a child’s imagination with his mischievous characters and zany verse.’The Express
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780394883274
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 10/12/1986
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Theodor Seuss Geisel – better known to millions of his fans as Dr. Seuss – was born the son of a park superintendant in Springfield, Massachussets, i n1904. After studying at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, and later at Oxford University in England, he became a magazine humorist and cartoonist, and an advertising man. He soon turned his many talents to writing children’s books, and his first book – ‘And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street’ – was published in 1937. His greatest claim to fame was the one and only ‘The Cat in the Hat’, published in 1957, the first of a successful range of early learning books known as Beginner Books.

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

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 15, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    theres nobody who can make a story outtta anyword or anything xc

    theres nobody who can make a story outtta anyword or anything xcept the legendary Dr Seuss ..... of course
    I am an overgrown Seusser

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  • Posted July 12, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Dr. Seuss can spin anything with English, even a sequel.

    Dr. Seuss can spin anything with English, even a sequel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2009

    i love dr. seuss books

    i love this books

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2008

    cat in the hat is messed up!

    Cat in the Hat Come Back. is a fun story to read.Once there were two kids who were cleaning up in front of the house. Their mom said if she saw snow in front of her door,. They would be in trouble so they got started cleaning. When their mom left a cat came down the street. What happened next was crazy. Than at the end everything in the house was messed up. I like this book because it¿s a good book and that is why you should read this book. I read it three times so read it, It¿s fun, it will make you laugh.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2003

    Not MY Favorite but a close third

    Well I was brought up on Dr. Suess and The Cat in the Hat which is one of my all time favorites along with the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. And honsetly I contribute most of my acheivments in English to being a litterate 3 year old. But these books are most reads for children everywhere, I still read them to my neighor's children when I babysit and my eyes get watery with memories of sitting in bed while my mother read to me. ;)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2002

    Every Kid Must Read!

    I'm eleven and I was assigned to create a poster that decorates my locker with scenes from my favorite book. I immedietly chose this book.

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    Posted January 3, 2014

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    Posted June 11, 2009

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    Posted October 5, 2009

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    Posted November 25, 2008

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    Posted February 9, 2009

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