A New Dr. Seuss Book Revealed

Aug 2, 2015 By Rachel Catherine
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One book, Two book, Three book, 44 books!

Black book, Blue book, Old book… New book?!

That’s right, twenty-four years after the publication of the last original Dr. Seuss book, and the death of the iconic writer himself, a new Dr. Seuss book has been put on the shelves.

Titled “What Pet Should I Get?”, this newest book will join the classics like “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish,” “Oh the Places You’ll Go,” and “The Cat in the Hat” that we grew up reading.

One Book’s Long Journey

No one expected to see a brand new Dr. Seuss book published after the writer passed away from cancer in 1991 at the age of 87, so the discovery of a manuscript for an unpublished book was a welcome surprise. At the time of the death of her husband, Audrey Geisel, the widow of Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss), was renovating their house. In the process, she set aside several boxes of Mr. Geisel’s things.

It wasn’t until October 2013, when Mrs. Geisel and Mr. Geisel’s long-time assistant, Claudia Prescott decided to have some notes and sketches appraised, that they came upon the manuscript in one of the boxes. Amidst an assortment of notes and sketches that had never made it into one of Dr. Seuss’s famous books, were 16 yellowed and worn pages.  On each, was a black and white sketch with typed text taped to it. These pages made up the book which Dr. Seuss had given the title “The Pet Shop.” 

The process that followed this discovery-surprising or not- was almost like restoring an old historical document. Each page had to be restored, almost forensically, to yield the finished product that we will now be able to add to our Dr. Seuss collections. Luckily, after all that painstaking work, the first one million copies were released in the first printing on Tuesday.

What Pet Do They Get?

Although the manuscript was nearly-finished, there were some holes that had to be filled in before it could become a book. These holes were filled in by Cathy Goldsmith, the last employee at Random House publishing who had worked directly with Dr. Seuss. She had been the designer and art director of his last six books and was the perfect person to finish up this newest book.

Ms. Goldsmith had many things to consider and fine-tune. She had to make sure the text matched up with the pictures. She had to decide on the perfect color scheme for the images.  In the end, Ms. Goldsmith tried to adhere as tightly as she could to what Dr. Seuss had already written down.

As you will figure out by reading the book on your own, we never get to know exactly what pet the characters decide on. However, although the book ends in uncertainty, it is certain that this book is yet another reminder that the legacy of Theodore Geisel lives in those whimsical, rhyming books that we all grew up with.