Theodor Seuss Geisel, creator of Horton the Elephant, the Grinch, the Cat in the Hat, and a madcap menagerie of the best-loved children's characters of all time, stands alone as the preeminent figure of children's literature. But Geisel was a private man who was happier at the drawing table than he was across from any reporter or would-be biographer. Under the thoughtful scrutiny of Charles D. Cohen, Geisel's lesser known works yield valuable insights into the imaginative and creative processes of one of the 20th...
Theodor Seuss Geisel, creator of Horton the Elephant, the Grinch, the Cat in the Hat, and a madcap menagerie of the best-loved children's characters of all time, stands alone as the preeminent figure of children's literature. But Geisel was a private man who was happier at the drawing table than he was across from any reporter or would-be biographer. Under the thoughtful scrutiny of Charles D. Cohen, Geisel's lesser known works yield valuable insights into the imaginative and creative processes of one of the 20th century's most original thinkers.
"He was an unusual man, particularly with respect to his memory and vision, and his penchant for storytelling and practical jokes often led people astray from the facts," notes Cohen, who in this hefty, assiduously researched (and well-documented) volume, sets out to demystify the genius of Theodor Seuss Geisel. The biographer separates fact from fiction and reveals a significant sampling of this celebrated author and artist's little-known early work, balancing his own chronicle of Geisel's life and career with copious excerpts from his subject's writing and crisp reproductions of his wide-ranging artwork. These include cartoons Geisel drew for the Dartmouth literary magazine (which provide first glimpses of some of the zany creatures that would later appear in his picture books), advertisements he created for a variety of companies (beginning with his widely popular ads for Flit bug spray, with their wonderfully Seussian humor and images) and cartoons he published in a variety of magazines. Cohen aims primarily at dedicated Seuss aficionados with his in-depth reportage and analyses of events that inspired Geisel's work through the decades. He devotes relatively little space to the author's creation of picture books. Instead, the biography provides intriguing insight into the workings and evolution of a remarkable creative mind, as Cohen allows the story to unfold largely through Dr. Seuss's own words and pictures. Oh, the places he has gone-and continues to transport readers. This elegantly designed volume instills gratitude for both. All ages. (Feb) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Best Pop Culture Book [of the year]. Splendid compendium... Handsomely designed . . . with laffs on every page.
A must-have for Seuss fans and animation buffs . . . Very well written and researched . . . If you have any interest in this subject - I urge you to buy this volume. It's great!
I doubt if anyone could ever imagine seeing all of these sketches, poems, puns, ads, calendars, comics, book jackets, photographs . . . It is like a fine wine-sit down read a chapter savor it contents, think about the man described and what he did and then go back for more later. Let it rest on your coffee table and share it with others who share your love of children's literature . . . Let us hope that this collection will someday reside in a museum for future generations to enjoy.
An incredibly thorough, well-researched (and well-documented), detailed analysis of all things Seuss . . . As the title says--the book focuses on his art--his writing, drawing, painting, sculpting, filming, etc--the legacy that he left behind . . . THE SEUSS THE WHOLE SEUSS was an eye-opening book for me . . . The visual aspects of the book are beyond outstanding--the primary sources are quite a gem--hundred if not thousands of Seuss cartoons, comics, sketches, writings, photos, magazine spreads, and objects--(Seuss sculptures, ashtrays, coasters, dolls, toys, objects to hang on the wall, etc.) Every page has at least one--if not five--illustrations.
Even though my copy of this book arrived after Dr. Seuss' 100th birthday, it was still a wonderful experience to start turning the pages and read more about this great name in children's literature. The focus is a biographical look at the man, but it is also a look through his art work. The author who never met Ted Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss is, as the jacket flap notes, "one of the world's foremost collectors of Seussiana." It is great fun to look at the illustrations that he drew as a kid, high school and college student and in the years before he ever published a children's book. Apparently Ted Gisel liked to make up stories about how his books came to be and where he got his ideas. Cohen in his book traces some of the ideas back to earlier illustrations that he did in advertising and for other publications. Some of the fanciful myths are debunked, but there is no escaping the genius of the man and his break with the traditional format of children's books. I doubt if anyone could ever imagine seeing all of these sketches, poems, puns, ads, calendars, comics, book jackets, photographs etc and many of the reproduction are beautifully done in full-color. I had no idea that Ted Geisel had done so much and that he had written under a variety of pseudonyms. This book will appeal to teachers, children's literature students and others who have grown up reading Dr. Seuss' books. It is not going to have any real appeal to the younger audience who are now reading his books. It is like a fine wine—sit down read a chapter savor it contents, think about the man described and what he did and then go back for more later. Let it rest on your coffee table and share it with others who share your loveof children's literature. The endnotes and index are extensive as is the information between the covers. Let us hope that this collection will someday reside in a museum for future generations to enjoy. It did come with a poster and there is a reproduction on the back of NEA's Read Across America Teaching Activity Guide and other related activities. 2004, Random House, Ages Adult.
School Library Journal
These two books about the prolific artist are vastly different in purpose, approach, and audience. Cohen's goal is to document Geisel's creative development, tracing his writing and artistic skills chronologically within a cultural context. Endnotes document his sources, but the text is woven with supporting visuals that work with his engaging style to achieve broad appeal. Nel aims to elevate Dr. Seuss to the level of icon and builds his case through a series of linked essays, each one examining Geisel through the differing critical lenses employed by Liberal Studies scholars. He provides extensive commentary, endnotes, and an annotated bibliography, increasing the value to academics. Although no one premise is fully argued, no one assertion fully supported, the book provides fertile ground for further study. Cohen's title is simpler, larger, and more complete.-Sue Burgess, Framingham State College, MA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.