Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Seuss, the Whole Seuss, and Nothing but the Seuss

by Charles D. Cohen
New York: Random House Children’s Books, 2004
Audience: Grade 6 +

Cover image for The Seuss, the whole Seuss, an...This illustrated look into the life of Theodor Seuss Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, was written by lifetime fan and collector of “Seussiana,” Charles D. Cohen. Beginning with his early writing at Central High School in Springfield, Massachusetts, Cohen discusses “Ted’s” rise from editor-in-chief of the Dartmouth College Dartmouth Jack-o-Lantern to one of the most celebrated children’s authors in history. Cohen presents not only the life of Ted Geisel, but also the workings of Dr. Seuss artistic mind. Cohen’s collection of Seussiana is included on almost every page of the book, giving readers a chance to experience some of Dr. Seuss’s early sketches of such favorites as Horton and the Cat in the Hat.
Theodor Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss
This biography will appeal to tweens for many reasons. Not only is it well-written and easily understandable for young audiences, the text is, at times, quite fun and “Seussian.” Tweens will enjoy seeing drawings and memorabilia of some of the most treasured Dr. Seuss characters. The life of Theodor Geisel is also quite interesting outside of his famous stories. Geisel was a lifelong opponent of anti-Semitism, discrimination and racism in America. At a time when not many would speak out, Geisel included these sentiments in his work. Many tweens will enjoy discovering that the beloved author and illustrator was also a role model as well.

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