An original work by children’s author Ted Geisel, who is better known as Dr. Seuss, will see its first publication this summer, Random House Children’s Books and Dr. Seuss Enterprises announced yesterday in a press release. The Complete text and illustrations for “What Pet Should I Get?” were discovered in 2013 in a box of Geisel’s papers by his widow, Audrey Geisel, and long-time secretary Claudia Prescott. The box of papers originally was set aside by Audrey following the writer’s death in 1991. Random House has set July 28 as the release date for the newly discovered work.
Geisel’s former art director Cathy Goldsmith is overseeing the editorial and creative process of preparing the work for publication. Goldsmith, who is now Vice President and Associate Publishing Director at Random House Books for Young Readers, is one of the remaining Random House executives who worked directly with Dr. Seuss, including work on the last Dr. Seuss book published in Geisel’s lifetime, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”
“We had no idea what we were in store for when Claudia notified us of the materials discovered in Ted’s home. Pages and pages of manuscripts and sketches were laid out on the big glass dining room table. It was truly a magical moment, and we immediately knew this was more than just a box of sketches.” — Susan Brandt, DR. Seuss Enterprises
According to Goldsmith, the sister and brother in “What Pet Should I Get?” are the same characters in Geisel’s bestselling “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish,” which was published in 1960. This leads Goldsmith to conclude “What Pet Should I Get” was penned between 1958 and 1962. These years, according to Random House Children’s Books President Barbara Marcus, were a “most prolific period in his career.”
Additional materials found with the manuscript will form at least two more books. Titles and publishing dates for these will be announced in the future. Geisel’s papers will find a permanent home with the Dr. Seuss Collection in the Geisel Library at University of California San Diego.
Theodor Geisel authored and illustrated 45 books in his lifetime and has won numerous awards for his work, including Caldecott Honors, a Pulitzer Prize in 1984 “For his special contribution over nearly half a century to the education and enjoyment of America’s children and their parents” and eight honorary doctorates. “What Pet Should I Get?” may be preordered at Dr. Seuss Enterprises.