Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Dr Seuss: Young Author and Artist

Dr Seuss: Young Author and Artist

Kathleen Kudlinski
Illustrator:  Meryl Henderson 
Nonfiction  Series
For ages 8 to 12
Simon and Schuster, 2005   ISBN: 978-0689873478

From the time when he was still a very young boy, Ted Geisel loved to draw, to read, and to amuse others. He loved to create pictures of animals, drawn in a caricature style and as he grew he moved on to drawing cartoons for the school paper. Ted loved working in the paper and he not only drew cartoons but he also wrote articles. Both in college, and afterwards, his words and his art became his life.

Then Ted began to work on producing a children's book. He had already illustrated children's books several times but now he wanted to write the words as well. Ted worked very hard to make sure that every word in the text and every line in the illustrations was just right. The result was "And to Think that I saw it on Mulberry Street," a picture book full of the nonsense, the impossible, and the delightful. When "Horton Hatches an Egg" came out in 1940, Ted's career in the children's book world really took off. Many years later Ted decided to create books which would help children learn to read. He began with "The Cat in the Hat" and went on to create a new "Beginner Books" series which was aimed at young readers who were learning how to read by themselves for the first time. Here at last were books for young readers that were funny, unique, and peopled with all kinds of deliciously silly looking creatures with odd sounding names.

In this excellent biography for middle readers Kathleen Kudlinski creates a picture of a young Ted who took his passion for words and drawing and turned it into something which would influence children for generations to come. Written in an easy to read style, this book is so interesting that the reader cannot help wanting to read on, to find out more about this special person who liked to make others laugh and smile. Readers may find themselves wanting to get out their own Dr. Seuss books once more – just to re-read those wonderful tales again.