How seven “lost stories” by Dr. Seuss surfaced on eBay

Dr. Seuss's publisher says these "lost" stories originally published in magazines are “as good as anything in the already-published canon.”

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    One Seuss scholar calls “The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories,” written during a "transitional" period of Seuss's development as a children's author, "a great opportunity to see some unseen Seuss."
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It’s a great year for people who love children’s literature. First we got word of a new Maurice Sendak book, now there’s news of seven “lost stories” from Dr. Seuss.

“The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories” will be published in September, Random House announced, featuring stories by beloved children's author Theodor Seuss Geisel that had originally appeared in magazines in 1950 and 1951 and have never been collected in book form. Random House said that the book’s introduction describes the stories as “transitional” ones in Seuss’s approach to writing for children, written in a period during which he shifted from writing predominately in prose to his well-known rhymes. Stories include “The Strange Shirt Spot,” which the publisher described as the inspiration for the bathtub-ring scene in "The Cat In The Hat Comes Back."

The stories were originally published in Redbook magazine, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune, and were known to Seuss collectors and scholars, but to few others.

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Seuss scholar Philip Nel told the Union-Tribune that, “These are stories before Seuss became Seuss. I think they give you another side of his creative genius, a glimpse of his process. It’s a great opportunity to see some unseen Seuss.”

The stories came to light in a most modern way, the Guardian reported – when Dr. Seuss’s art director was on eBay and stumbled across a listing for the magazine tearsheets. The seller, Massachusetts dentist Charles Cohen, turned out to be an avid Seuss collector and scholar, who went on to write a Seuss retrospective, but never lost sight of the idea of collecting the magazine stories. Random House vice-president and publisher Kate Klimo told the Guardian that the stories are “as good as anything in the already-published canon.”

Or, as she could have said, “You may like them. You will see!”

Seattle writer Rebekah Denn blogs at eatallaboutit.com

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