My Many Colored Days

( 31 )

Overview

Illustrated in full color. Accompanying a manuscript Dr. Seuss wrote in 1973, is 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 has 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 ...
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Overview

Illustrated in full color. Accompanying a manuscript Dr. Seuss wrote in 1973, is 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 has 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.

This rhyming story describes each day in terms of a particular color which in turn is associated with specific emotions.

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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many a late author, from Margaret Wise Brown (Four Fur Feet) to Sylvia Plath (The It-Doesn't-Matter Suit), often yield unpublished manuscripts.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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679875970
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 8/28/1996
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 34,213
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Lexile: AD190L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.05 (w) x 10.81 (h) x 0.39 (d)

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 two 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.  

Steve Johnson was born in White Bear Lake, Minnesota and earned a B.F.A. in illustration from the School of Associated Arts in St. Paul, Minnesota. Steve's stunning illustrations have been seen in many magazines, but it was not until Knopf asked him to illustrate No Star Nights in 1989 that he began his career as a children's book illustrator. Since then, Steve and his wife Lou Fancher has collaborated on the illustrations and design on a number of notable children's books.  They are currently among the most sought after of children's book artists.  Steve and Lou fell in love with the My Many Colored Days manuscript at first sight, seeing in it an unusual opportunity to create something that is at once both childlike and sophisticated.  Steve and Lou currently reside in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  

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
( 31 )
Rating Distribution

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(21)

4 Star

(2)

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(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2002

    YA GOTTA LOVE SUESS

    I am a preschool teacher and all the kids who pass through my class always remember this book! I have read it so many times I can recite it by heart (while turning pages.) I use it for my colors week and also for my feelings week. My children never get tired of it!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 12, 2008

    who doesn't have many-colored days?

    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.<BR/><BR/>My grandchildren have also enjoyed the board book, from the first times we read together.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2000

    Great book!!

    This book is absolutely great for kids & adults!! My toddler enjoys having it read aloud & I found I rather like reading it myself. It has already helped her with putting words together to express her emotions, something every child needs help with. In addition, she now knows all her colors, an accomplishment many pre-schoolers have yet to reach. The illustrations are beautiful,too. I strongly recommend it, it has so much to offer!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2013

    great book for young kids

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2012

    Must have for any parent to read to their child!

    It is my favorite book that my daughter owns......and she has a lot! It is colorful and rhyming which makes it enjoyable for young kids, but at the same time it is deep and meaningful. It will touch a parent's heart for sure.

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  • Posted May 14, 2010

    Great book to read to your kids

    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.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    so much fun

    I read this book to my prescool class that are 2.5 years old. it instantly became their favorite. after reading it we each take a turn saying what color we feel today. Great way to teach colors and emotions.

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  • Posted September 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    My Many Colored Days

    One of my favorite books by Dr. Seuss. I first purchased it for my twin sons to help describe their feelings. This book expresses my feelings on a day to day basis. I now purchase it as baby gifts.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2009

    Colors and simple words

    My daughter loved this book. It has become the first book that she wants to read to her smaller brother.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2008

    One of my ultimate faves

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2007

    Must Buy For Children!!!

    My children and I love this delightful book by Dr. Seuss (Green Eggs and Ham, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, The Cat in The Hat). It follows a child through all of his emotions, and what he feels when he¿s angry, sad, confused, low, etc. He compares his feelings to colors and explains what he feels. The colors in the illustrations help to reinforce how he is feeling. They are beautiful and utilize the whole page. Young children love this book because of the illustrations, and how the author relates their feelings in a way they can understand it. The book explains so much without using too many words. The overall theme in this book is that no matter what your feelings are one day, you will go back to being you, and that is okay. I have told many people about this book, because I love the theme, illustrations, and how simple it is. Plus, it comes in board book form, which makes it ideal for young children. The younger children will learn about colors, and the older children will learn about their emotions. This book is a must have for anyone with children. You won¿t mind reading this one over and over.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2007

    Wonderful Book!

    My toddler has had this book now for about a yr. and I don't know who enjoys this book more... I read it and have so much fun and she enjoys it too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2005

    Great concept

    What a great way to get young children to understand the feelings they go through. Many different feelings and colors all in one day. When my daughter is confused with her emotions, we sit and read this book. From the text to the colorful pages, this book is a must have for every family.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2005

    Dance Company reflects from Many Colored Days

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2004

    Such a fun book!

    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!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2002

    The Best Ever

    This book is the best children's book I have ever read. I discovered it while babysitting and bought copies for myself, my favorite teachers, and all the babies that have been born in my family since. This book can lead you and your children into wonderful conversations about their feelings. It is also spectacular for reading projects in Elementary school. First graders can read it and talk about emotions, and fourth graders can write their own book about colors, animals and feelings. It's Great!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2001

    Creating a Colorful Way of Communicating Emotion and Mood!

    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

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2001

    Help in defining feelings for young ones

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2000

    This is a wonderful book a must have for your child.

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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