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February 20, 2015 10:20 AM   Subscribe

Random House announced today that a never-before-published Dr. Seuss book titled What Pet Should I Get? will appear on bookshelves this July. The book, a spinoff of Seuss’s One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, centers on two young children attempting to choose a pet. Seuss’s widow, Audrey Geisel, discovered the manuscript in 2013. RH said that two or more books derived from the found work will be released, as well, with publication information to follow.
posted by Fizz (46 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Ugh, it was not announced today but "earlier in the week".

Apologies.
posted by Fizz at 10:21 AM on February 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


First Harper Lee, now Theodore Geisel? What unexpected book will crawl out of the woodwork next?

Betting is now open. The bracket shows that the final round depends on the outcomes of Salinger vs. Watterson and Faulkner vs. H.S. Thompson.
posted by komara at 10:40 AM on February 20, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm holding out for Watterson to start a regular web comic in the near future.
posted by bonehead at 10:44 AM on February 20, 2015 [5 favorites]


*Crosses fingers for Shakespeare's Second Folio.*
posted by resurrexit at 10:47 AM on February 20, 2015 [5 favorites]


Salinger with illustrations by Watterson.
posted by ardgedee at 10:49 AM on February 20, 2015


This just in: there were actually fifteen Commandments.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:53 AM on February 20, 2015 [7 favorites]


Random House Children’s Books has announced the July 28 publication of What Pet Should I Get?, following the rediscovery of the full text and illustrations for this book in the office space of the late Ted Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss.

Oh good, original Seuss illustrations. The re-illustrated My Big Book of Beginner Books about Me (2011) is illustrated by a few different people, even all those contained books were previously illustrated, most by Seuss. I only found this out when looking through my wife's parents' collection of original Beginner Books.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:56 AM on February 20, 2015


The Bell Jar-Jar
posted by Mchelly at 10:58 AM on February 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


Ooh, is this the rumored R. Crumb collaboration we've all been waiting for?
posted by Navelgazer at 11:00 AM on February 20, 2015


This just in: there were actually fifteen Commandments.

Well, depending how you number them, you could get up to 13.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:00 AM on February 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


there were actually fifteen Commandments

Numbers 12 And 14 WILL Shock You With How Super, Super Hot They Are!
posted by CynicalKnight at 11:02 AM on February 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


“We believe that he wrote and illustrated What Pet Should I Get? somewhere between 1958 and 1962."

And after that, he wrote another 24 books and illustrated all but three of them before he died. You know, it's possible that for whatever reason he just didn't want this one published.
posted by yhbc at 11:04 AM on February 20, 2015 [6 favorites]


CynicalKnight: Numbers 12 And 14 WILL Shock You With How Super, Super Hot They Are!

The 15th describes the one wierd trick that God HATES.
posted by dr_dank at 11:19 AM on February 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


What unexpected book will crawl out of the woodwork next?

That might be the one by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. More of a short story, though...
posted by sysinfo at 11:30 AM on February 20, 2015


there were actually fifteen Commandments

Numbers 12 And 14 WILL Shock You With How Super, Super Hot They Are!


How a Housewife Got to Heaven with This One Stupid Trick the Devil DOESN'T Want to You Know About!!!
posted by resurrexit at 11:30 AM on February 20, 2015 [2 favorites]




The first of three upcoming books from manuscripts that Geisel decided weren't good enough for publication while he was alive (and while he published a dozen 'not good enough to be Dr. Seuss' books with the alternate penname 'Theo. LeSieg' - Geisel spelled backwards). We have more reasons for dread than hope.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:37 AM on February 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


As a used-to-be-teacher
And then a librarian
My heart is exploding
Like a zip-a-doo-darian!

A zip-a-doo-darian
At home in the swamp
Who's reading to children
And his little pet plomp

All cozy and snug
In their warm swampy home
While they drink the drink flurble
With warm frothy foam

And the zip-a-doo-darian children
And pet
Think back to that moment
They'll never forget

When their favorite librarian
Down at the school
Would read them some books
That were awesome and cool

And that? That was me!
I was reading out loud
To a large group of children
Who all felt so proud

When they knew all the words
About Hopping on Pop
They knew about Yertle
They yelled not to stop!

They felt proud
They felt glee
They would cry out
"Oh gee!"

"This reading's great fun
Once you know what to do!
And if we can all do it
You can all do it too!"

We can thank Dr. Seuss
For these loud happy noises
From the children who listened
The small girls and boyses

He makes reading fun!
He makes reading seem neat!
And for some of these children
For whom reading's no treat
A book with big colors
And sounds is a feat!

So bring on this new book
This new wonderful tome
For to so many children
It'll make books feel like home.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 11:44 AM on February 20, 2015 [11 favorites]


So many treasured authors are rolling over in their graves now, including the ones who aren't dead.
posted by tommasz at 11:48 AM on February 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


James Frey recently spotted rolling over in someone else's grave.
posted by komara at 11:53 AM on February 20, 2015 [6 favorites]


> "*Crosses fingers for Shakespeare's Second Folio.*"

I'm hoping for Aristotle's Second Book of Poetics that covers comed- AAAIEEE IT BURNS IT BURNS
posted by kyrademon at 11:54 AM on February 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


Go Set a Wocket
posted by Ratio at 11:56 AM on February 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


I've been reading One Fish Two Fish a lot to my daughter recently. When I'm feeling silly/bored and try to bean-plate deconstruct it in my head, it's a weirdly bleak depiction of capitalist consumer culture. It starts out like a silly poem but then starts to become all about what things you own, how great they are, and how they make you different from your neighbors. It also assumes that fantastic or absurd creatures exist only for the sake of being subservient to man in every banal way.

It's amazing, though, and really fun to read - very syntactically creative in ways I obviously totally missed when reading it as a kid. The same can't be said for the only Theo. LeSieg book we have (Ten Apples Up On Top), which sorta blows. Hopefully this is more of the former and less of the latter.
posted by pziemba at 12:17 PM on February 20, 2015


I wonder if it explains why the Eagles didn't take green eggs and ham to Frodo and Sam.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:17 PM on February 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


I've been reading One Fish Two Fish a lot to my daughter recently.

I've been reading it to my son. This part is always creepy:

Look what we found
in the park
in the dark.
We will take him home.
We will call him Clark.
He will live at our house.
He will grow and grow.
Will our mother like this?
We don't know.

posted by Ratio at 12:26 PM on February 20, 2015 [8 favorites]


Now I'm a dad, I'm reading books to my 2 year old daughter that were read to me when I was little.
Some, like the books in Gene Zion's "Harry the Dirty Dog" series, are just as charming as I remember and she loves them. It doesn't matter that the illustrations are old fashioned in terms of the clothes and cars and scenery.

The Dr Seuss stuff hasn't aged as well at all, even though it has none of those visual hints of age.
With the rigid rhyming meter and formulaic made-up words and the samey grotesque drawings it's all just irritating to me now, like trying to watch a bad 60s movie with love-ins and people saying "far out man" and wah wah guitar. The kid doesn't like them either.
posted by w0mbat at 12:32 PM on February 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ten Apples was a favourite of one of my sons and we therefore read it together 4938 times. I kept trying to make it sound interesting, but the best I could get was a William Shatneresque, "You...can do two...but I...can...do...more!"
posted by angiep at 12:32 PM on February 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


The thought has occurred to me that the first generation of kids who grew up reading McElligot's Pool would just about coincide with the first batch of string theorists.
posted by Wolfdog at 12:40 PM on February 20, 2015


Look what we found
in the park
in the dark.
We will take him home.
We will call him Clark.


When I was a kid, I found that creepy, too.

Will our mother like this?
We don't know.


But this, as a parent, is comedy gold.
posted by Jpfed at 1:03 PM on February 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Dr. Seuss Bible.
posted by duffell at 1:06 PM on February 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've been reading Dr. Seuss to a three year old, with enjoyment all around. "rigid rhyming schemes" are pretty awesome when you are a little kid just working out how language goes.
posted by tavella at 1:22 PM on February 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


This just in: there were actually fifteen Commandments.

Documented.
posted by Mchelly at 1:26 PM on February 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


When I was a kid, I found that creepy, too.

I always read "He will grow and grow" in a low, spooky voice.

That plus the look of deranged pleasure on the creature's face = Cronenbergian nightmare fuel.
posted by Ratio at 1:38 PM on February 20, 2015


yhbc: You know, it's possible that for whatever reason he just didn't want this one published.
Given what else his widow has authorized, I wouldn't be surprised if she "finds" plans for official dolls, amusement park rides, and 7-11/MacDonald's product tie-ins before it's all done.

We used to joke about Yoko Ono "living" off her dead husband's legacy, but in truth she continues to honor him to this day with peace activism and charitable giving in his name.

Mrs. Geisel, however, feeds off the dead.
posted by IAmBroom at 2:33 PM on February 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


I am trying to predict how my patrons will react to this. I mean the kids, meh, they won't care. The kids in that demographic are all about Fly Guy and Elephant and Piggie. There may be some hype-driven parents who must have it. I don't have any reason NOT to buy it.
posted by Biblio at 3:01 PM on February 20, 2015


Pretty blatant money grab if you ask me, but that's ok. Money talks. Gotta keep his name out there. NO such thing as bad press.
posted by ReeMonster at 4:26 PM on February 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


We used to joke about Yoko Ono "living" off her dead husband's legacy

We used to? Speak for yourself!
posted by ReeMonster at 4:27 PM on February 20, 2015


I was.

And you aren't in "we". We decided.

Only cool kids get in.
posted by IAmBroom at 5:21 PM on February 20, 2015


IAmBroom, like this? Cat in the Hat ride at Universal Orlando
posted by 1066 at 6:22 PM on February 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ever since I as an impressionable young man, picked up the then-new Seuss book "Daisy Head Mayzie" and read it out loud to my little sister and discovered to my horror that the meter was either wrong or non- existent, I am well convinced that the Seuss canon begins with "And to Think I saw it on Mulberry Street" and ends with "Oh, the Places You'll Go." All else is merely prehistory (his editorial and advertising work) or not worth mentioning (everything "found" since 1995).

And believe me you shall, for my methods are strong,
I've read all his books, both the short and the long.
The tales about fishes and cats and creatures and stuff,
One can easily find the line between joy... and mere artless fluff.

posted by 1f2frfbf at 10:44 PM on February 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hamster Huey and the Gooey Kablooie by Bill Watterson, Christmas 2016
posted by EatTheWeak at 3:03 AM on February 21, 2015 [4 favorites]


I was.

And you aren't in "we". We decided.

Only cool kids get in.


I was beaten up as a kid for not being "cool" so thanks for triggering that pain.
posted by ReeMonster at 9:17 AM on February 21, 2015


New Book, Take a Look!
posted by xingcat at 9:23 AM on February 21, 2015


I guess the answer now is worms?
posted by onlyconnect at 1:39 PM on February 21, 2015


The Verge just posted an article that has some illustrations that are worth checking out.
posted by Fizz at 8:39 AM on February 22, 2015


ReeMonster: I was beaten up as a kid for not being "cool" so thanks for triggering that pain.
Oh, FFS.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:19 AM on February 23, 2015


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