Pet Conundrum the Focus of New Dr. Seuss Book

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July 22, 2015

Dr. Seuss is so popular that he can get a book published 24 years after his death.

What Pet Should I Get, by (the now late) Theodore Geisel, will be published by Random House on July 28. The intial print order is for 1 million copies, but analysts insist that a second printing should be just around the corner.

The last Dr. Seuss book published in the author’s lifetime was Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, in 1990. Geisel died the following year.

The “new” story features a brother and sister being overwhelmed by choices at a pet shop. The boy and girl look nearly identical to the two featured in One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, which was published in 1960.

Geisel had done initial work for the pet shop book, completing 16 black-and-white illustrations and their accompanying signature rhymes. But the work was unfinished and had lain in a box until 2013, when Geisel’s widow, Audrey, went through it in detail.

Cathy Goldsmith, who served as art director on the last six Dr. Seuss books, finished the book, choosing colors just the way that Geisel used to. (She finished coloring the illustrations for Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, at Geisel’s direction, when the author was too ill to continue.)

Goldsmith is still at Random House and now serves as vice president and associate publishing director for Random House/Golden Books Young Readers.

Geisel, perhaps most well-known for such titles as The Cat in the Hat and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, wrote and illustrated 44 children’s books that together have sold more than 650 million copies worldwide.

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