Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lost Dr. Seuss Stories Come to Life Today

"The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories" offers a rare glimpse into the early years of acclaimed La Jolla children’s author Theodor Seuss Geisel.

By Angela Babb Timmons

Dr. Seuss fans are in store for a neat treat—seven of his original tales never before published in book format have just been released in a 72-page collection.

Just as you’d expect from the Dr. Seuss we know and love, The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories will introduce a whole new world of whimsical characters navigating some pretty zany situations. Get ready to meet a duck named McKluck, a goldfish named Gustav, tiny twins Tadd and Todd, and many other characters reminiscent of the beloved author’s most memorable works.

The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories is a rare look at Dr. Seuss before he was a household name. According to children’s book publisher Random House, “It’s the literary equivalent of buried treasure.” A treasure indeed, considering these stories last appeared over 60 years ago when they were published in Redbook magazine.

Rewind to early 1950s when a virtually unknown writer by the name of Theodor Seuss Geisel lived in La Jolla with his wife, Audrey. He had a successful career in advertising, but found time to pen tall tales and fanciful stories that he submitted to magazines for publication. During 1950 and 1951, nearly a dozen of his original stories and illustrations appeared in Redbook. Less than 10 years later he published The Cat in the Hat and his magazine days came to an end.

Turns out these stories from his early years were never truly “lost,” just rarely seen and long forgotten.

“This is exciting for fans who have known Seuss throughout their whole life,” Susan Brandt, president of license and marketing at Dr. Seuss Enterprises in La Jolla, told Fox 5 San Diego. “But also, how neat to share with our children new stories that we can discover together.”

The author lived and worked in LaJolla until his death in 1991.

The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories will include illustrations by Dr. Seuss that appeared in Redbook, with enhancements made to the size and color in a manner that maintains the integrity of the author’s original work.

Not only does the legacy of Dr. Seuss carry on in the many books he published during his lifetime, but his name lives on at the Geisel Library at UC San Diego in honor of the significant contributions made by the author and his wife.

Audrey Geisel continues to play a prominent role in the La Jolla community through her many philanthropic efforts. Most recently she was honored at the 2011 Globe Gala in recognition of the generosity and support she has given to the theatre.

“She has worked to extend Seuss’s moral and artistic influence through the Dr. Seuss Foundation, which provides primary support for over 100 medical, cultural, and socially active institutions,” as noted on the website of Dr. Seuss Enterprises.

So what exactly is a Bippolo seed, you might ask? If Dr. Seuss were here today he might turn to you and say: Go get the book. Cuddle up in a cozy nook. Flip through the pages and take a look.

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