Wednesday, 6 April 2016

I now own a Dr Seuss book

As of 2016, I own a Dr Seuss book. 

It's the first one I've ever owned. 

Yes. The first.

I was an adult before I ever even heard of Dr Seuss. (In my defence, I grew up on an island, and although I definitely wasn’t short of books – I had the Mr Men and Little Miss books, the Ladybird books and hundreds of Enid Blytons among others – but Dr Seuss wasn’t one of them).
Green Eggs and Ham was the first of his books that I met. I loved the wonderfully quirky characters with their long eyelashes and the nonsensical-and-yet-somehow-entirely-plausible landscapes that are so quintessentially Dr Seuss. The phrase “I do not like them, Sam I am” also quickly slipped into my daily vocab and is still going strong.

Then (thanks to the treasury that is the Brain Pickings blog), I discovered in quick succession, Dr Seuss’ wonderfully surreal paintings of unmistakably Seuss-ian worlds and characters, his WWII political cartoons, and finally, his lesser-known adult book, The Seven Lady Godivas.

How can you not adore drawings like these?!
(One of Dr Seuss' surreal landscapes)

So I was absolutely, utterly charmed when, on Dr Seuss’ birthday (he would have been 112 years old!), HarperCollins Australia sent out their regular email newsletter with nothing in it but “Happy Birthday Dr Seuss” with a couple of recognisable grinning characters.

It was a gorgeous and fitting email to mark the good Doctor’s day, and I just had to take a pic and tweet it. As you do.

Imagine my delighted surprise HarperCollins Australia not only liked and retweeted it, but also said they would send me a little thank you pack – from themselves and Dr Seuss! A mere few days later, I was the proud owner of my very, very first Dr Seuss book: What pet shall I get?

The tale and finished artwork were discovered after his death amongst his papers freshly-published. And does it contain quintessential Dr Seuss rhymes and Dr Seussian-styled illustrations? You bet! All wonderfully-drawn, character-filled animals with super-long eyelashes, including the fishies!

There's a helpful note from the publisher about the context of the book's pet shop, about buying or adopting, about the responsibilities of having a pet, of looking after them and caring for them. This expands into a beautifully-written biography about Dr Seuss (and his dog!)

This book was a wonderful gesture by the HarperCollins Australia folks which I will appreciate always!  

This lovely handwritten note sums up the delightfulness of the gesture:

Thank you lovely folks at HarperCollins Australia! :-)

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