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My Many Colored Days

My Many Colored Days

4.2 31
by Dr. Seuss, Steve Johnson (Illustrator), Lou Fancher (Illustrator)

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Accompanying a manuscript Dr. Seuss wrote in 1973, was a letter outlining his hopes of finding "a great color artist who will not be dominated by me." The late Dr. Seuss saw his original text about feelings and moods as part of the "first book ever to be based on beautiful illustrations and sensational color." The quest for an artist finally ended—after the


Accompanying a manuscript Dr. Seuss wrote in 1973, was a letter outlining his hopes of finding "a great color artist who will not be dominated by me." The late Dr. Seuss saw his original text about feelings and moods as part of the "first book ever to be based on beautiful illustrations and sensational color." The quest for an artist finally ended—after the manuscript languished for more than two decades—at the paint brushes of husband-and-wife team Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher whose stunning, expressive paintings reveal such striking images as a bright red horse kicking its heels, a cool and quiet green fish, a sad and lonely purple dinosaur, and an angrily howling black wolf. Using a spectrum of vibrant colors and a menagerie of animals, this unique book does for the range of human moods and emotions what Oh, the Places You'll Go! does for the human life cycle. Here is a wonderful way for parents to talk with children about their feelings. With Johnson and Fancher's atmospheric, large-scale paintings bursting off the pages, Dr. Seuss's vision is brought to life. This rare and beautiful book is bound to appeal to both the innocent young and the most sophisticated seniors.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The archives of many a late author, from Margaret Wise Brown (Four Fur Feet) to Sylvia Plath (The It-Doesn't-Matter Suit), often yield unpublished manuscripts. Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, is no exception: he wrote but did not illustrate this rhyme, which assigns colors to moods. The effort is pleasant but lightweight: "You'd be/ surprised/ how many ways/ I change/ on Different/ Colored/ Days," announces a child, portrayed as a flat, gingerbread-man shape of yellow, then blue, then purple. Spread by spread, the character metamorphoses into animals of varying hues, from an energetic red horse to a secretive green fish to a droopy violet brontosaur ("On Purple Days/ I'm sad./ I groan./ I drag my tail./ I walk alone"). Husband and wife Johnson and Fancher (Cat, You Better Come Home) do not mime the author's pen-and-ink creations but work in pasty, expressionistic brushstrokes and blocky typefaces that change with the narrative tone. The characteristically catchy Seussian rhyme could help turn a Gray Day into a "busy, buzzy" (Yellow) one, and the snazzy die-cut jacket gives this volume an immediate lift above the competition. But the pointed message of Oh, the Places You'll Go! and the genius of Seuss's early work go missing. Ages 3-8. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-An amusing look at how color affects children's lives and especially their behavior: red days are good for kicking up one's heels and blue ones for flapping one's wings. Purple days are sad, pink are happy, black are mad, and mixed up-watch out! There is an unevenness and unfinished quality to the text, as the patterned flow appears to be interrupted many times and the word choice gets lost in the rhyme. The artists obviously had fun with this book-an enormous gray owl watchfully peers out at readers, busy bees buzz across a yellow page, a cool fish glides in a green sea, a purple dinosaur sadly drags his tail, and pink leggy flamingos just don't think. Simplistic stylized illustrations, initially reminiscent of children's snow angels or gingerbread cookies, help to create the fantasy by letting the colors speak and have a memorable impact. In fact, they far outshine the words. Youngsters will want to talk about how they feel color, and even the unevenness of the text will not deter them-they will quickly set the book aside and get into their own ideas.-Ronald Jobe, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
Kirkus Reviews
My Many Colored Days ( PLB Sept. 1, 1996; 40 pp.; 0-679-87597-2; PLB 0-679-97597-7): Pairing emotions with colors is nothing new to poetry (e.g., Mary O'Neill's Hailstones and Halibut Bones), but pairing impressionistic full-color paintings to the text of Dr. Seuss is a first. His formerly unpublished manuscript becomes the basis for a simple color concept book; children will easily identify primary colors and enter into the feeling and mood depicted by the creature in every spread: "On Bright Red Days/how good it feels/to be a horse/and kick my heels!" Broad strokes of thick paint on canvas create basic forms with texture, sometimes dark and weighty, sometimes bold and breezy. Those who can set aside preconceived expectations—there is no butter-side-up Seuss here—will find that some of the spreads gracefully elevate poetry that often has feet but no wings.

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.82(w) x 10.80(h) x 0.35(d)
AD190L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Dr. Seuss was born Theodor Geisel in Springfield, Massachusetts on March 2, 1904.  After attending Dartmouth College and Oxford University, he began a career in advertising.  His advertising cartoons, featuring Quick, Henry, the Flit!,  appeared in several leading American magazines.
Dr. Seuss's first children's book, And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street, hit the market in 1937, and the world of children's literature was changed forever!
In 1957, Seuss's The Cat in the Hat became the prototype for one of Random House's best- selling series, Beginner Books.  This popular series combined engaging stories with outrageous illustrations and playful sounds to teach basic reading skills.
Brilliant, playful, and always respectful of children, Dr. Seuss charmed his way into the consciousness of four generations of youngsters and parents.  In the process, he helped kids learn to read.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1984 and three Academy Awards, Seuss was the author and illustrator of 44 children's books, some of which have been made into audiocassettes, animated television specials, and videos for children of all ages.  Even after his death in 1991, Dr. Seuss continues to be the best-selling author of children's books in the world.  

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
March 2, 1904
Date of Death:
September 4, 1991
Place of Birth:
Springfield, Massachusetts
Place of Death:
La Jolla, California
B.A., Dartmouth College, 1925; Oxford University (no degree)

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My Many Colored Days 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
mtpromises More than 1 year ago
As a teacher of English Language Learners (Pre-K through 12), I have found this book transcends age, language, and literacy barriers. Everyone can identify with the text and the illustrations, and the ideas/questions for discussions, written assignments and art projects will come easily to any teacher. My favorite was to write a description of their favorite color, answering why it was the favorite, then creating a collage of that color. Students will find the most unusual pictures and things to put in their collage.

My grandchildren have also enjoyed the board book, from the first times we read together.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My son who is 5 years old loves this book. He would tell us the color of his moods. This book helped him communication to us about his feelings. Which for us was the best! We loved to hear why he was sad and what made him happy or why he was grumpy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thiman More than 1 year ago
This is probably my favorite Dr. Seuss book for younger kids. It's very different from the widely known and read 'Cat in the Hat', 'Green Eggs and Ham' and all the others. 'My Many Colored Days' describes the different moods of the author and associates them with colors. The rhymes are not at all like the other Seuss books, neither are the illustrations, but you can feel the overall warmth and optimism that we know from his other books. To all the teachers out there: This is a great book to teach colors and talk about feelings with young children. It's full of writing prompts and can be used for English language learners as well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My daughter loved this book. It has become the first book that she wants to read to her smaller brother.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book on March 2nd each year during our Dr. Seuss celebration (Read Across America). It is one of those books that few realize is a 'Dr. Seuss' book as it was published posthumously. The abstract art is fabulous and perfectly goes with the rhyming verse and descriptive language is one that both children and adults will enjoy. I read it to all the Kindergartners at my school and they are all glued to the story. Get this one for your collection. You won't regret it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Our dance company used this book as a way to teach the many different ways people can communicate to others. This book demonstrates the power of communication through words and visual art. The book was a bridge to teach movement and sound communication. It has been a wonderful way to have students learn how to take a deeper look at visual art. The creative way the text is displayed on the page communicates the message without the necessity to understand the words. The art work displayed such good examples of texture and rhythm that could so easily be compared to the texture and rhythm in music and dance communication. This book is a great example to use to teach abstract thinking. Our company reflected off the book to teach how to watch and understand a dance work. After teaching 10 cross-curricular workshops that were based on this book I still find new treasure of thought in each page. The adult professional choreographers and dancers have enjoyed reflecting from this Dr. Suess book very much. Every adult and child deserves a copy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a preschool teacher for 3 year olds, I highly recommend his book. The children request at each circle time. It's great for learning colors, expressing feelings and even gross motor movement (we act out the words in the story). Great fun!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Early in his career, Dr. Seuss wrote many books as Theo. LeSieg (the last name being his own name of Geisel in reverse) that were illustrated by others. In 1973, he wrote the rhymes for this book, but wanted someone else to illustrate it. After his death, his wife brought the book to his publisher's attention. Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher have created a book filled with stunning paintings and fascinating typography to bring Dr. Seuss's range of daily moods and emotions alive. Using this story, people can communicate these feelings more vividly and accurately to one another. The book is obviously inspired by the common sentence you've heard many times, 'I'm feeling blue today.' 'Some days are yellow. Some are blue. On different days I'm different too.' 'You'd be surprised how many ways I change on Different Colored Days.' Most colors are also associated with an animal. Red is a horse kicking up its heels. Brown is a bear, 'slow and low.' On a yellow day, 'I am a busy, buzzy bee.' On a green day, he's a 'cool and quiet fish.' On a happy pink day, he's a flamingo! On black days, he becomes a howling wolf. He even has mixed-up days, when he is several colors at once (disguised as a cut-out cookie of a person). He's reassuring, as always, in the end. 'But it all turns out all right, you see. And I go back to being me.' The paintings in the book are remarkable for the simple, fundamental images they represent . . . both building on and adding to our mental archetypes. They also use color and shape well to create a mood over two colorful pages. Further, the texture of painting is almost palpable to the touch, adding an appreciation for depth and context for the viewer or reader. One way you can use this book is to ask your child what color he or she is today. You can also communicate your color, as well. You can each learn more about how to change one another's not-so-attractive colors in this way, or to help sustain desirable ones. I know of no other book that is so effective at creating concepts and vocabulary for conveying emotions and moods. I suggest that you extend this book by adding other colors and images that capture moods and emotions that are not represented here. And don't feel like you have to limit this to your child. Adults can benefit from this perspective and way of communicating as well. Live vividly and colorfully in ways that please you! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution
Guest More than 1 year ago
My daughter was having a very difficult time expressing her feelings. We got this book when she was 4. She is 7 now and she still loves to read it. We use it as a help to describe what kind of a day we are having. The pictures are wonderful too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this book for my little girl when she was 14 months old while on travel at a bookstore in Washington, D.C.(Now 3 yrs. old) It had a white cover at the time. She loves it still. We make gestures that go along with the moods of the story. We kick our heels on bright red days. My little girl still gets excited when I recite the story to her. We've memorized it.