There must be few people who have not encountered one of the children’s picture books by Theodore Seuss Geisel, alias Dr Seuss, although I wonder how many have heard of his very first book And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street? Rejected for publication seventeen times, it eventually found a publisher in the United States in 1937. Mulberry Street took an extraordinarily long time to reach the UK – another thirty-four years – but it has been in print in both countries ever since, as have the many others that followed it. Possibly the most famous of all Dr Seuss’s picture books is The Cat in the Hat and, judging by the shrieks of enjoyment from the very young audience at the Young Vic Theatre enjoying the recently dramatised version in London in mid-February, it is still the most popular.
There have been at least eight previous biographies of Dr Seuss, all of which Donald Pease refers to in his numerous notes to this new ‘account of Theodore Seuss Geisel’s life and Dr Seuss’s art’, but as an authority on Seuss and former holder of the Ted and