August 1, 2014
Kwuggerbug! More Dr Seuss to come
by Zeljka Marosevic
“Congratulations!/Today is your day./You’re off to Great Places!/You’re off and away!” That’s the kind of rhyme that is currently going around in the head of every Dr Seuss fan, after the news yesterday of the republication of four new Dr Seuss stories.
Random House will publish Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories in September, with the new book featuring four stories originally published in the 1950s in Redbook Magazine. This will be the first time the stories are published in a book, but not the first outing for the characters. Familiar faces in the new stories include Horton (from Horton Hears a Who!) and The Grinch, this time not stealing Christmas but practicing another form of trickery.
The collection will be prefaced by Seuss expert Charles D Cohen, who also happens to be a dentist in South Deerfield, Massachusetts. According to USA Today, Cohen tracked down “copies of the magazines that published Seuss” to find these stories. In the introduction he writes, “For the most part, those magazines were tossed out when the next month’s issue arrived and the stories were largely forgotten”, but these new tales promise “fresh encounters with old friends and familiar places.”
One of the oldest friends in the new book is Marco, who appeared in the very first Dr Seuss book for kids, And To Think I Saw It on Mulberry Street in 1937. In this story, Marco is late for school and has to explain why. Here’s a snippet:
What’s wrong with you, boy? Is your head made of wood?
Why didn’t you come just as fast as you could?
What IS you excuse? It had better be good!
An early Kirkus review hails the book a success:
Along with predictably engaging wordplay—“He climbed. He grew dizzy. His ankles grew numb. / But he climbed and he climbed and he clum and he clum”—each tale features bright, crisply reproduced renditions of its original illustrations.
Fans both young and formerly young will be pleased—100 percent.
Zeljka Marosevic is the former managing director of Melville House UK.