The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories
|September 27, 2011|
|Preceded by||Hooray for Diffendoofer Day!|
The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories is a collection of seven illustrated stories by children's author Dr. Seuss published by Random House on September 27, 2011. Though they were originally published in magazines in the early 1950s, they had never been published in book form and are quite rare, described by the publisher as "the literary equivalent of buried treasure". The stories were discovered by Charles D. Cohen, a Massachusetts dentist and a Seuss scholar and biographer, who also contributed an introduction to the collection.
The seven stories included in the book are:
- "The Bippolo Seed": a duck finds a rare seed that can grant wishes, but a cat tells him to wish for more than he needs, to get money; they end up losing the seed.
- "The Rabbit, the Bear, and the Zinniga-Zanniga": a rabbit escapes being eaten by convincing the bear that he has a rare but serious disorder.
- "Gustav, the Goldfish": a boy overfeeds a goldfish, causing it to grow until it fills a cellar. It was later adapted by Helen Palmer as "A Fish Out of Water".
- "Tadd and Todd": two identical twins don't like being the same, so they try to be different by enhancing their looks but fail.
- "Steak for Supper": a boy brags about his steak dinner, causing strange beasts to follow him home, but it turns out to be stew.
- "The Strange Shirt Spot": a boy gets dirt on himself, to his mother's dismay, so he tries to get it off but fails.
- "The Great Henry McBride": a boy dreams of having five jobs.
The collection was published by Random House on September 27, 2011. The stories originally appeared in magazines in 1950 and 1951. Dr. Seuss died in 1991, and the stories were later rediscovered by Charles D. Cohen, a Massachusetts dentist and Seuss scholar. Cathy Goldsmith of Random House encountered the magazine stories in one of Cohen's eBay auctions, around 2001. Random House published Cohen's book The Seuss, the Whole Seuss and Nothing But the Seuss: A Visual Biography of Theodor Seuss Geisel in 2003. He also contributed an introduction to this collection.
Some elements of the stories in this collection appeared in later books. The story "Gustav the Goldfish" was the basis for the Beginner Book A Fish Out of Water. The book was written by Seuss's first wife Helen Palmer Geisel, illustrated by P. D. Eastman, and published in 1961. "Gustav the Goldfish" rhymes, unlike A Fish Out Of Water. Seuss later reused the basic plot of "The Strange Shirt Spot" for 1958's The Cat in the Hat Comes Back. In both stories, a character tries to remove a spot from various household items but only manages to transfer the spot to one object after another.
- Nel, Philip (2007). The Annotated Cat: Under the Hats of Seuss And His Cats. New York: Random House. ISBN 978-0-375-83369-4.