The Cat in the Hat

( 63 )

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

Children's Literature - Keri Collins
Since 1957, millions of children have loved the story of the mischievous cat in the striped hat who arrives on a cold and rainy day with his now-famous friends Thing 1 and Thing 2. Although Sally and her brother are admonished by their goldfish not to let that cat in the house, they ignore their practical pet—and the world of children's books changed forever. Written using only 236 easy-to-read words, author/illustrator Theodor Geisel, who wrote under the pseudonym Dr. Seuss, created this book as a reaction to the 1950s classroom reading materials that were considered uninteresting and thus part of the problem of illiteracy in America. To celebrate The Cat in the Hat's fiftieth birthday and to promote literacy, Random House has created this Party Edition with a snazzy foil cover, birthday logo, and a postcard to mail birthday greetings to the cat himself. For each birthday card received by mail or online, including the official postcard found only in the first printing of the Party Edition or a card created by a child, Random House will donate one book to First Book, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing low-income families with new books. Happy Birthday, Cat in the Hat!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780394800011
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 3/28/1957
  • Series: Beginner Books(R) Series
  • Pages: 72
  • Sales rank: 490
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 260L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.75 (w) x 9.33 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Meet the Author

DR. SEUSS is quite simply one of the most beloved children's book authors in the world.

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
( 63 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(42)

4 Star

(14)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 63 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2013

    this sucked

    this sucked

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 19, 2009

    this book was great

    this book is very short and has big words. This book was cool

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2008

    Too Confyusin!!!!!!!

    I find this book is too hard for the likes of mankind. Simply, anyone who read this is clearly an alien or somethingl.Is the hat made of cotton, or polyester? Does this hat contain lice eggs? Dr. Seuss clearly hatched a very hard book.

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 26, 2013

    The cat in the hat is about a cat who walks in the door an

    The cat in the hat is about a cat who walks in the door and the kids want to play outside but they can't play outside. My favorite part is when the fish told the cat to put him down and the fish said when your mom is out he should be here. I like the in the cat in the in the hat because it is funny and you will like it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 14, 2013

    A must read for everyone Cat in the hat is by far the best novel

    A must read for everyone
    Cat in the hat is by far the best novel written by Dr. Seuss; a classic that lifts the child inside of us to go outside and play! An exciting tale of a day that seems pointless and boring transformed into a dream day. My favorite character by far is Thing 1 right behind my second favorite the Fish. The beginning of this novel is gloomy and low, slowly building up to the cats grand entrance. No matter how old you are this book is unforgettable!



    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 27, 2012

    i lub dis boohk becahs i found tommy cat in my hatty hat

    i lub dis boohk becahs i found tommy cat in my hatty hat

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 30, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    the cat in the hat by dr. seuss this is about a girl and boy and

    the cat in the hat by dr. seuss
    this is about a girl and boy and how they sit in their home while their mother went to townn. a cat walks in and wants to have fun with them.
    the fish is not for it at all and tells him to leave. the children play with different things and the whole house turns into a mess and they see
    their mother about to walk in the door when the cat calls upon things one and thing two to help clean up the mess. they do it before the mom walks
    in the door and the cat leaves. the ending question is do you tell your mom what you did while she was gone or just say you looked out the window all day.....

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 7, 2012

    Love Suess. Love this. It's his best book without doubt.

    Love Suess. Love this. It's his best book without doubt.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 26, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Review

    An absolute classic. Dr. Seuss only practices his best here over control of the English language.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 25, 2011

    Must Read For All Families

    This book is about a mischievous cat and his way to brighten a rainy day. However, is this book sending the right message out to children? I know if I were not home, I would not want my children to let in a strange talking cat-in-a-hat. On the other hand, it does show how the children realized their wrong doing. Also, I'd like to shed some emphasis on the illustrations; although there is not a lot of color, the little color there is brings out the main point of the illustrations. Overall, I would have to say this book is entertaining and I would highly recommend it to families as a tool to enforce stranger safety, or even as a fun story to share.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2011

    An Awesome Read For Children.

    The Cat In The Hat by Dr.Seuss is a great childrens book. This book takes your fantasy on a flight and it never flaps its wings down to the ground until the end. It has been an eye opener in terms of fantastic read alouds .I don't think there are as many entertaining read alouds - for the reader, as The Cat in the Hat. I simply get carried away each time I start. By the end of the book, I am entranced. This is clearly a read aloud winner for the reader. But the good news is that listeners also get a great deal. The pictures are fantastic, the plot is unpredictable, the chaos is so overwhelming that the entire ride is just a big roller coaster that is seemingly waiting to crash somewhere. The Cat in the Hat is "The" book that introduced my kids to a world of imaginary and incredible events, so that it has a special significance for them.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 14, 2010

    ReadAloud Dad verdict: SNAP IT UP!

    The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house all that cold, cold, wet day. This book takes your fantasy on a flight and it never flaps its wings down to the ground until the end. It has been an eye opener in terms of fantastic read alouds.I don't think there are as many entertaining read alouds - for the reader, as The Cat in the Hat. I simply get carried away each time I start. By the end of the book, I am entranced. This is clearly a read aloud winner for the reader. But the good news is that listeners also get a great deal. The pictures are fantastic, the plot is unpredictable, the chaos is so overwhelming that the entire ride is just a big roller coaster that is seemingly waiting to crash somewhere. The Cat in the Hat is "The" book that introduced my kids to a world of imaginary and incredible events, so that it has a special significance for them. It is indeed a fantastic read aloud and will also come in handy when the kids start learning to read. The quality of the edition is really nice, with a firm, resistant hard cover. No dust sleeve included and no dust sleeve needed. The Cat in the Hat is frantic action from start to finish, but all good clean fun. The children's verdict is not a perfect 10, as it is a book that is slightly longer to finish in one go as a read aloud, but also difficult to break up "into chapters". It doesn't reflect on the quality of the book, rather on its read aloud quality. On the other hand, for the reader it is smooth sailing all the way. I feel that I haven't given The Cat in the Hat enough credit in my review, as it is simply impossible to sublimate the significance of the book for US children's literature.But that is a completely different topic. VERDICT: SNAP IT UP!
    ReadAloudDad(.)Blogspot(.)com

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2010

    A definite must

    The Cat in the Hat is often quoted in our house, by young and old alike. Our children have become known as Thing One and Thing Two so I think this book has made an impression on them as well :-) It is an absolute necessity in any household with small children!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    The Cat in the Hat

    I love the Cat in the Hat...read it to my boys when they were little, read it when I tutored kids in grade school, and now am buying it for new mothers/little ones. It is a perfect book to use to teach children to read, and fun for adults as well. Our boys never got tired of hearing it or reading it, another favorite for generations to come.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Book!

    My 2 year old has this book and I also bought it for my 18 month old niece. They both love it and it is easy for my husband and me to read it to our daughter. It is also great to bring it along with us when we travel. Dr. Seuss definitely does not disappoint.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great classic

    What can be cooler then reading books to your child that your parents read to you. Dr.Suess is awesome! Also check out The Journey of a Grape.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2010

    Perfect book for my 2 year old grandson!

    My grandson is 2 years old and he loves this book. We have read it so much that he can sit down with the book and almost recite it word for word. He loves this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2009

    classic

    classic

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The Cat in the Hat

    This is a great youngsters readers book.It shows great illustrations and A creative rhyming story. I am personally a fan of the sequel "The Cat and the Hat Comes Back" and of many other Dr.Seuss books they are all so different in there own ways but they all rhyme which I love. This is a classic must read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 8, 2009

    Best Children's Book Ever

    I purchased this book for a baby shower when we were asked to bring our "favorite" childhood book. It was my favorite growing up and it was also my three sons' favorite. In fact, for two of my sons I was asked to read their favorite in front of their elementary school class. We can all probably recite the entire book from memory, but it's much more fun seeing the illustrations.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 63 Customer Reviews

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