The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories is a collection of "lost" Dr Seuss stories culled from short stories published in magazines like Redbook in the 1940s and 1950s, collected and reprinted for the first time.
The publication of a new Seuss collection is reason to celebrate in and of itself, and Bippolo Seed is more than a curiosity or a completist's collection of offcuts -- much of the material in this book stands with Seuss's best-loved work. The illustrations are classic Seuss and full of wit and irreverence, though the ratio of words to pictures is a lot wordier than the typical Seuss, owing, I suppose, to the constraints of the original magazine publication. If I had to choose a favorite from among these, it'd be "The Great Henry McBride," (MP3) about a young fellow who can't make up his mind on a single career and demands that the world accommodate his wish for excitement and novelty through his whole life.
Of course, pictures are only half the story with Seuss, an author who really demands that he be read aloud. Random House has released a companion audiobook featuring absolutely smashing celebrity readings from the likes of Neal Patrick Harris, Anjelica Huston, Joan Cusack (MP3), and William H Macy (MP3) (along with others), and you can really hear how delighted and honored the readers are for the chance to work with this material. I wouldn't recommend getting the CD without the book (because Dr Seuss's illustrations are so integral to the stories), but it is an indispensable companion.
The book is introduced by Charles D Cohen, "renowned Seuss scholar," who gives a wordy but fascinating history of the stories, providing some excellent critical context for them.
The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories (Hardcover)
The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories (Audiobook)
(Images: TM & Copyright by Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. 2011)
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