New Dr. Seuss Book Contains Important Lesson for Kids
It’s a new book.
Should you take a look?
They say it’s not his best,
Not quite as good as all the rest.
But it’s by Dr. Seuss, whom we all adore.
So yes, we’ll read it. Say no more.
On the heels of the highly publicized Harper Lee book, released 55 years after To Kill A Mockingbird, comes a newly discovered Dr. Seuss book 24 years after his death.
Like so many of his classic books, this new Dr. Seuss book conveys a message and moral beyond the simple tale. This time, it’s about learning to make decisions, certainly a valuable lesson for parents to help their children learn.
After the beloved children’s book author Theodor Seuss Geisel, known to the world as Dr. Seuss, died in 1991, his widow Audrey donated most of his illustrations and drafts to the University of California, San Diego. But she kept some in storage, and among the stored-away boxes she recently discovered a complete grouping of typed text and 16 illustrations under the heading “The Pet Shop.”
Using modern graphic techniques and detailed reconstruction, experts transformed the old black-and-white sketches into clean colorful illustrations (see before-and-after images below). Cathy Goldsmith, a former designer and art director of previous Dr. Seuss books, flew to San Diego to oversee the project. “There’s a lot at stake here, for us and for him, and I really didn’t want to get this wrong,” she told The New York Times.
Random House will publish the new book, now titled What Pet Should I Get? on Tuesday, July 28. Though critics say it is not on par with his other classic and much-admired books, such as The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham, this book will likely not disappoint his loyal readers. It includes Seuss’ famous cheerful rhymes, and the illustrations still have his recognizable “brand.” In fact, it features the same brother and sister from One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. In the new book, the siblings set off to a pet store to choose a pet. Their dad says they can only choose one pet. But what pet should they get?? (Hint: their choices involve many more creatures than just dogs, cats, and fish.)
In the end, it’s about learning to make decisions. Sometimes, you just have to choose. As the characters conclude:
“If we do not choose,
we will end up with NONE.”
All of us, including kids, are faced with tough decisions. Parents can use this book to teach kids the importance of making good decisions and the consequences their choices can have.
Following the story, readers will find a section called “Notes From The Publisher,” which offers a unique look at the original manuscript and information on how the book was discovered and eventually published. And in fitting with Dr. Seuss’ high moral standards, the publisher notes that at the time the book was written, estimated to be around 1960, pet shops were where people went to get their pets. Now, they suggest families adopt their pets from a shelter or an organization that fosters rescue animals.
The moral of this newly discovered book is about making decisions, choosing to read it though, is one of the easier choices parents and kids will make.
Featured Image – Trademark and (c) Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P.
Before/After images via Buzzfeed-Dr. Seuss Enterpises and the Dr. Seuss Collection, University of California San Diego.
Elizabeth Street is a writer and managing editor for Learning Liftoff. For the past 20 years, she has written newsletter and website content for nonprofit and corporate organizations on such topics as the plight of children of prisoners worldwide, the lack of prenatal care for mothers in developing countries, and child mentoring programs. She has a particular interest in the importance of providing all children with a quality education regardless of their family’s financial status or background. A native of Virginia, Elizabeth is a graduate of James Madison University and loves animals, with particular fondness for her two cats, Oscar and Emmy.