New Dr. Seuss book, ‘What Pet Should I Get?’ debuts.
By Jamie Gumbrecht
The announcement of a new, original Dr. Seuss book sent a wave of nostalgic giddiness across social media, and the number of preorders for “What Pet Should I Get?” has been climbing for months. Now, its time is here. The first new book in 25 years by Dr. Seuss, aka Theodor Geisel, debuts Tuesday.
In a review in verse, the New York Times’ Michiko Kakutani said the new book is “short and it’s Seuss-ish, not ‘One Fish Two Fish.’ ” She wrote:
“Seuss never spoke down to his readers, no matter how small. His tales were told with vim, vigor and zest. ‘What Pet Should I Get?’ entertains us just fine. Who cares if this book’s not really his best?”
To keep up with demand, the book’s first printing was increased from 500,000 to 1 million copies, Barbara Marcus, president and publisher of Random House Children’s Books, said in a news release in April. “We were absolutely overjoyed to see the response to ‘What Pet Should I Get?’ from every corner of the book world – the bookselling community, media, educators, and readers nationwide,” Marcus said.
The first image released from the never-before-seen book featured a brother and sister familiar to Seuss fans as they ogle a prim feline in a pet shop window and ponder: “We want a pet. We want a pet. What kind of pet should we get?”
The last new, original Dr. Seuss book, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”, was published in 1990. “What Pet Should I Get?” features the spirited siblings from the beloved classic “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish” and is believed to have been written between 1958 and 1962.
“Ted loved and had pets himself, as a young boy on up through adulthood, and that makes the wonderful excitement and buzz for this new book all the more special,” said Susan Brandt, president, licensing and marketing of Dr. Seuss Enterprises.
Geisel’s widow, Audrey Geisel, found the manuscript and illustrations in their California home soon after her husband died in 1991. The materials were set aside and then rediscovered in 2013. Random House Children’s Books said in February that it expects to release additional books from the found materials.
It only seems to prove the siblings’ lesson from “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.”
“From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere.”