Title: Becoming Dr. Seuss: Theodor Geisel and the Making of an American Imagination
Author: Brian Jay Jones
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Publisher: Dutton
Format: Hardcover, audiobook, e-book
ISBN-10: 1524742783
ISBN-13: 978-1524742782
Price: $32.00

The definitive, fascinating, all-reaching biography of Dr. Seuss.

Dr. Seuss is a classic American icon. Whimsical and wonderful, his work has defined our childhoods and the childhoods of our own children. The silly, simple rhymes are a bottomless well of magic, his illustrations timeless favorites because, quite simply, he makes us laugh. The Grinch, the Cat in the Hat, Horton, and so many more, are his troupe of beloved, and uniquely Seussian, creations.

Theodor Geisel, however, had a second, more radical side. It is there that the allure and fasciation of his Dr. Seuss alter ego begins. He had a successful career as an advertising man and then as a political cartoonist, his personal convictions appearing, not always subtly, throughout his books—remember the environmentalist of The Lorax? Geisel was a complicated man on an important mission. He introduced generations to the wonders of reading while teaching young people about empathy and how to treat others well.

Agonizing over word choices and rhymes, touching up drawings sometimes for years, he upheld a rigorous standard of perfection for his work. Geisel took his responsibility as a writer for children seriously, talking down to no reader, no matter how small. And with classics like Green Eggs and Ham, and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, Geisel delighted them while they learned. Suddenly, reading became fun.

Coming right off the heels of George Lucas and bestselling Jim Henson, Brian Jay Jones is quickly developing a reputation as a master biographer of the creative geniuses of our time.

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“Becoming Dr. Seuss is more compelling than mere pop hagiography; it is sweeping in scope, unstinting in detail, and willing to criticize or contextualize when needed.”—The New Yorker

“Nuanced, profoundly human and painstakingly researched, this 496-page biography is perhaps the most complete, multidimensional look at the life of one of the most beloved authors and illustrators of our time…While it is a standard biography in general terms, Jones goes above and beyond to contextualize Geisel in the larger picture at every moment of his life. [A] fascinating read that discusses the origin of the humorous, simple rhymes, bizarre creatures, and magic that characterized Geisel's books while also showing the author's more radical side as an unemployed wanderer who abandoned his doctoral studies, a successful advertising man, and a political cartoonist.”—NPR

“A rich, anecdotal biography...Whether readers are familiar with Dr. Seuss books or not, they will find this biography absorbing and fascinating.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“This attractive biography should be on the bedside reading table of thousands of Dr. Seuss lovers, and deservedly so.”—Library Journal (starred review)