Talk:And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street

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Good article And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street has been listed as one of the Language and literature good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
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Current status: Good article
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Mulberry Street[edit]

The part about the real "Mulberry Street" is incorrect: According to Your Favorite Seuss, Mulberry Street was named after the one in Springfield, Massachusetts, where Geisel grew up, rather than the one in Little Italy. It doesn't intersect with any Bliss Street, however.

Can you add that info, along with the citation information, to the article page? Pnkrockr 19:34, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

The information about where the original Mulberry street is seems to make sense, but it is still original research, unless we can get a citation for it. Pnkrockr 19:03, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

People in Springfield, MA seem to believe that their Mulberry Street, which is near where Geisel grew up, is the source of the title. However, I haven't found any verification of this, so I consider it so far as apocryphal. "Mulberry Street", like "Elm Street" and "Maple Street", is a very common street name in towns all over the Northeastern US, so it isn't unlikely that he just picked it out of the air. Those who have actually visited the street in Springfield have found little in common with the portrayal in the book.

It seems likely that the street is named after the one Suess grew up near, but as you said, he may have also chosen that street name as it's a common one. Thanks for adding a citation that mentions the belief that Suess's Mulberry Street is this Mulberry Street. Don't forget to sign your comments with 4 ~~~~'s. Pnkrockr 01:44, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Some have speculated that this street is the source of the title[edit]

The final sentence of the article doesn't make sense, or at the very least is redundant. If you read 'this street' as meaning Mulberry Street, in MA, then the sentence is redundant, since we already established that earlier in the article. I think what this sentence is trying to say is that Fairfield street is believed to be the street Seuss envisioned, despite him using a different street in the title. dimo414 (talk) 02:31, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

=) HI!

Fair use rationale for Image:MullberryStreetbookcover.jpg[edit]

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Image:MullberryStreetbookcover.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 18:48, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Curly Turkey (talk · contribs) 11:06, 3 November 2013 (UTC)

Prose feedback[edit]

Feel free to disagree with any of this; I'm not here to enforce a particular style on anyone.

  • I notice there's almost no discussion of Seuss's drawing style. I'd expected at least a paragraph, if not a section, on the drawings. Lurie at the very least seems to touch on it (comparisons to Krazy Kat, etc).
Believe it or not, I've come across relatively little discussion of his art style as it relates to Mulberry Street. But I gathered what I could and turned out a decent paragraph. Hope you think so too. Bobnorwal (talk) 20:55, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
  • No need to link "Dr. Seuss" three times.
done Bobnorwal (talk) 15:02, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
  • (renewed 1964): Is "Publication date" synonymous with "Copyright date"?
I haven't the slightest. I just deleted the renewal date. I didn't put it there, and I don't think it's terribly important. Bobnorwal (talk) 15:02, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
  • "Dr. Seuss" is a "Media type"?
Good call. Removed. Bobnorwal (talk) 15:02, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
  • "Followed by" is intended for books in a series, not as a chronology of authors' books.
Done Bobnorwal (talk) 15:02, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
  • "And that is a story that no one can beat, and to think that I saw it on Mulberry Street.": consistency–you use a slash to separate lines in the "Plot" section, but not here.
Noted. Changed. Bobnorwal (talk) 15:02, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
  • (originally titled A Story No One Can Beat): if it was never published under this title, then it shouldn't be highlighted in the lead, and especially not in the opening sentence.
Done. Bobnorwal (talk) 15:02, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
  • written and illustrated by Theodor Geisel under the pen name Dr. Seuss: Seuss's real name is background material; I doubt it belongs in the lead. Even if it stays, the rest of the article should refer to him as "Seuss", not "Geisel", just as we refer to the author of Middlemarch as George Eliot and not Mary Anne Evans, and we refer to the creator of Tintin as Hergé and not Georges Remi.
I completely disagree with you on this one. To me, "Dr. Seuss" is a brand name as much as it is a pseudonym, so the George Eliot comparison doesn't hold. To me Geisel was the man, Dr. Seuss was the brand, and I think I've done a good job of keeping that distinction in this article. For example: "While Mulberry Street's sales grew significantly as Dr. Seuss became more famous, it is not one of Geisel's best-selling books." Bobnorwal (talk) 15:02, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
Are you sure the reader would grasp this distinction (let alone agree with it)? At the very least, I'd reword "Dr. Seuss became more famous" to "the Dr. Seuss (brand|line|etc) became more famous". Curly Turkey (gobble) 23:29, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
  • with only the condition that: I think "only" is superfluous here.
It's there to show that it was a minor condition, as in "only a little." Bobnorwal (talk) 15:02, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
  • The story begins: is superfluous, and mixes in-universe and out-of-universe prose.
Wikipedia:Manual of Style (writing about fiction)#Plot summaries says it's okay. In fact, it "gives the summary a more grounded tone and makes it more accessible to those unfamiliar with the source material." Bobnorwal (talk) 15:02, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
  • when he decided to begin work: "when he began work"
Done. Bobnorwal (talk) 15:02, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
  • including a campaign for Flit bug spray for Standard Oil,: Standard Oil made bug spray? If so, can this be reworded to make it clear?
I tried, but I'm not sure it's any clearer.
  • he jotted down a rambling plot that started with "a stupid horse and wagon": meaning the words, "a stupid horse and wagon", the idea, or ...?
The words. Bobnorwal (talk) 15:02, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
Publication history[edit]
  • during the winter of 1936-1937: needs an endash
Done? Bobnorwal (talk) 15:14, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Vanguard's president, James Henle, and editor Evelyn Shrifte: drop the first comman and there'll be no chance of mistaking this for three people.
Done. Bobnorwal (talk) 15:14, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
  • when Random House bought Vanguard entirely: had they owned Vanguard in part before? Either way, I'd drop "entirely".
Done. Bobnorwal (talk) 15:14, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
  • A. O. Scott needs a space between the "A." and the "O." (a non-breaking space would be a better idea—they can be used without breaking the link, so no need to use a pipe).
I'm a little confused by this. I'm not sure what you mean. Bobnorwal (talk) 15:16, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, the only important thing is the space between the "A." and the "O." Curly Turkey (gobble) 21:27, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
Done. Bobnorwal (talk) 15:16, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
  • that appear in Geisel's comics story, "Heiji".: Hejji was a comic strip, no? Strip titles should be italicized, not quoted, and it should be stated that it's a comic strip, so people don7t think it was a comic book, or proto-graphic novel or something. Also, the spelling is "jj", not "ij", and it should be linked (and it wouldn't hurt to throw in the year—1935—or to mention the strip's tragically brief life).
Done. Bobnorwal (talk) 15:21, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
  • the spread of Nazi Germany: don't you mean "the spread of Nazism"? "the spread of Nazi Germany's <something-or-other>"?
Done. Bobnorwal (talk) 15:21, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
  • might be "the scene of origin for all of Dr. Seuss's children's books.": according to whom?
according to Pease, the reference. Bobnorwal (talk) 15:24, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
It needs to be attributed. Curly Turkey (gobble) 21:31, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
  • form what Donalad Pease calls: typo
I don't see a typo here. Bobnorwal (talk) 15:24, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
Donalad. Curly Turkey (gobble) 21:31, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
  • And each features a young: I'd either continue this with a comma from the previous sentence, or drop the "And".
Done? Bobnorwal (talk) 15:24, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
  • that read "And to think that we saw him on Mulberry Street": either a comma or colon after "read".
Done. Bobnorwal (talk) 15:24, 3 November 2013 (UTC)


  • make sure all page ranges use endashes, not dashes.
  • make sure to use plain single quotes, not curly quotes, as in Mulberry Street May Fade, but Mulberry Street Shines On.
Fixed. Bobnorwal (talk) 17:16, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
  • In "an act of faith" (in "Publication history"): quotes need attribution and incline cites (even if it's the same citation as at the end of the sentence).
Fixed Bobnorwal (talk) 17:16, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
  • "galloping, rollicking, anapestic tetrameter rhyme scheme" (in "Legacy"): same as above.
Fixed Bobnorwal (talk) 17:16, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
  • The last halves of the last three paragraphs of "Background" are uncited.
The way I cite, I cite a sentence and then everything that follows it, until the next referenced sentence, is assumed to be from that first source. That's how I learned to do it in Media Writing class, in AP style. So I just kinda stuck with it. Bobnorwal (talk) 17:16, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
The problem with that, at Wikipedia at least, is there is no way to distinguish whether the following material is supposed to be cited by they preceding cite, or whether it's just uncited. As an example of where this could be an issue, let's just say that a different editor came along and added a line to a paragraph—let's just say this editor was very knowlegeable about Seuss, but not aout the need for citations, and added the line "She was often known to thoroughly proofread her husband's texts." (I just made that up; let's pretend it's true). Now, there's nothing about in this on the page of the source quoted, but if we just assume the preceding citation covers everything that follows ... obviously not the kind of issue your Media Writing class would have foreseen, as they likely wouldn't have accepted assignments that included contributions from anonymous editors. Curly Turkey (gobble) 21:48, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
I definitely see your point there. So what's the solution? Cite each and every sentence, even if it's the reference over and over? I don't like to add so much clutter, but in light of what you say perhaps there's no other way. Bobnorwal (talk) 21:56, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
There are editors who cite every sentence, but I wouldn't recommend it. Throwing the citation at the end of the cited material at leasts clears up your intentions. The confusion comes from the inline cite in the middle of the cited material—placing it after the cited material tells us "eveything up to this point is meant to be cited in this citation". When you put the citation in between the cited sentences, it's impossible to know whether you intended the following material to be part of that cite, whether you just forgot to throw in a ref tag, or whether it was added later by someone who doesn't understand cites. Curly Turkey (gobble) 23:21, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
  • last sentence of second paragraph of "Analysis" needs an inline cite.
See my comment right above. Bobnorwal (talk) 17:16, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
  • the last sentences of the first two paragraphs of the "Legacy" section are uncited.
Ditto Bobnorwal (talk) 17:16, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Ref 1 should use "pp.", not "p."
Fixed Bobnorwal (talk) 17:16, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Ref 6: page(s)? (I think it's page 69)
Fixed? Bobnorwal (talk) 17:16, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
Fixed. Bobnorwal (talk) 17:16, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Ref 14: no author?
Correct. Bobnorwal (talk) 17:16, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
Then we should have "Anonymous" or "NPR staff". Curly Turkey (gobble) 21:48, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Need an ISBN for Popular Culture: An Introductory Text; also, no need for retrieval dates for books
Done. Bobnorwal (talk) 20:17, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Need an ISBN for The Seuss, the Whole Seuss, and Nothing But the Seuss: A Visual Biography of Theodor Seuss Geisel.
Done Bobnorwal (talk) 20:17, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
Done Bobnorwal (talk) 20:17, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
  • {{reflist|2}}: one of my pet peeves—we should avoid hard numbers of columns unless there's a specific reason for them—we all have different-sized screens, and in this age of smartphones those screens are often small and vertical. "colwidth=??" is a much better choice. Failing to follow this command will not result in a failed GA, but it will make me cringe.
I'm not quite sure how to make this change. Change it any way you wish, if it will make you feel more comfortable. It looks alright to me. Bobnorwal (talk) 20:17, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
Well, that's the thing—you end up choosing the number of columns that looks alright on your screen, but it ends up looking horrible on screens that are significantly smaller or larger than yours. "colwidth" allows it to adjust the number of columns for each screen.
I've gone and changed it, since you're not opposed to it. Curly Turkey (gobble) 21:48, 3 November 2013 (UTC)


  • Only one, a Fair Use image with a proper Rationale. It's a PNG—they usually look nicer when converted to JPGs for reasons I cannot comprehend—not in the least necessary, but something to keep in mind.
  • No other images—not an issue, but it would be nice if there were some ... for example, if there were a free image of Seuss from the time, a map pointing out Springfield, even an image of Hitler or something Nazi-related ...

Source check[edit]

  • So far I've only checked Lurie; it checks out, with no close paraphrasing or anything. I'll see if I can get access to any of the other sources.
  • Pease, p. 85 checks out (I couldn't acces the other two pages)
  • The stuff in Nel about Geisel's "sense of line" and "sense of energy" apears to be on page 72, not 108–109.
Good catch! Turns out, I messed up with naming the ref. Is there anything else I need to fix before you pass this? Bobnorwal (talk) 05:44, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
  • I couldn't access any of the other books. The online sources check out. Curly Turkey (gobble) 02:21, 5 November 2013 (UTC)


So far everything looks solid—almost everything that's not quite right is easy to fix. the only major concern I have is the paucity of info on Seuss's drawing style, which I think seriously needs some attention.

———Curly Turkey (gobble) 12:45, 3 November 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for your review, Curly. I'm a pretty big comics fan too, and I've long been an admirer of your work here on Wikipedia. This review was... something else. It's definitely extensive! Never has one of my articles received such a demanding GA review. Some of the smaller issues you had with it gave me pause. They reminded me of the discussions I've seen on reviews for Featured Articles (which is a big reason I've always avoided submitting anything for FA status). I don't really see the usefulness of ISBN's and endashes in Wikipedia articles. Can't a reader just google the book's title? And don't hyphens separate dates just as well as endashes? Still, I think I've addressed most of your concerns, to one degree or another. I'm sure you'll let me know if there's anything more to be done. Bobnorwal (talk) 21:09, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
Well, I'm not going to argue about dashes—I just follow the MoS. ISBNs are a different story: books are often published in multiple editions, and those editions often have different page counts. We need to know which edition you've cited so we can be sure we're on the same page. Curly Turkey (gobble) 21:55, 3 November 2013 (UTC)
Moved to article's talk page.[1] Curly Turkey (gobble) 01:38, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for finding additional sources. With your help, I would definitely be willing to push this article toward FA. As it is, though, isn't this information just a little below the water line for GA? I thought so, when I encountered most of this info in other sources. I mean, the article as it is covers the important points, and I don't see how info about one advertisement or about the initial reactions from some people in Springfield puts it over the top. Bobnorwal (talk) 15:09, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

Passed. I do believe we have ourselves another Good Article here. Nice work! Curly Turkey (gobble) 06:00, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

More sources[edit]

From Dr. Seuss and Philosophy: Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!: There some stuff on Mulberry in there—including some brief stuff on the artwork, and this:

"When he began writing children’s books, he responded to editors who rejected And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street for lack of a clear moral message by saying to his wife: 'What's wrong with kids having fun reading without being preached at?'"

An there's this from Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel) by Tanya Anderson:

"When And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street! was published in 1937, the people of Springfield, Massachusetts, were a little concerned. Unsure of what the book was really about, some townspeople were afraid that the book was going to tell personal, even embarrassing, stories about some of them who actually lived on Mulberry Street. Imagine their relief when they finally saw Dr. Seuss’s children’s book. Instead of a serious, scandalous book, Mulberry Street delighted them with tons of funny-looking creatures and a little boy who had a great imagination—a boy not unlike the young Ted Geisel they had known."

There's also more in there about the Publishers Weekly ad, the reception, and the "expensive" $1 cover price, due to the colour printing. Curly Turkey (gobble) 01:37, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

All sounds good - as more (referenced) content is always helpful. Please feel free to add away! Ckruschke (talk) 16:38, 7 November 2013 (UTC)Ckruschke

A few niggling points[edit]

This is a reminder to myself more than anyone. Just a few odds and ends that need to be straightened out with this article.

  • Geisel apparently made an ABC book some years before he started work on this book. But everybody passed on it because it was too expensive. I doubt if remains of it exist. Important primarily because of this book's status as the first Dr. Seuss book. He also illustrated Boners, a book of boyish malapropisms -- though I'm not sure if that was aimed specifically at children.
    • Weidt, Maryann N. (1994). Oh, the Places He Went: A Story about Dr. Seuss--Theodor Seuss Geisel. LernerClassroom. ISBN 978-0-87614-627-9. 
      on pages 27–28:
      "He checked his contract and found that it didn't prevent him from writing children's books. In 1932, he wrote and illustrated an ABC book. It contained his usual array of way-out animals including a long-necked whizzleworp. No publisher would buy it." Curly Turkey (gobble) 04:54, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
    • Anderson, Tanya (2011). Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel). Facts On File, Incorporated. ISBN 978-1-60413-750-7. 
      on page 46:
      "His first book opportunity came in 1931 when an editor at Viking Press asked him to illustrate a book of children’s funny sayings. The funny words came from children’s school papers in England. In the United States, the book was titled Boners, from a word that means "a funny mistake." (It was called Schoolboy Howlers in England.) It sold so well that a sequel, More Boners, was published later the same year.
      Because Geisel’s illustrations received positive reviews, he decided he wanted to write and illustrate his own children's book, an ABC book filled with strange animals. No one, however, was interested in his outlandish, bright-colored book. He put it aside when he and Helen became preoccupied moving into a nicer home on Park Avenue, where Ted set up a studio." Curly Turkey (gobble) 05:01, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Does Mulberry Street intersect with Bliss Street? Charles Cohen says no. And a quick Google maps search confirms that. But a couple of other sources -- including Philip Nel, who is usually meticulous -- say yes. Oh boy...
    • Maybe this is a case for a "So-and-so sez such-and-such, while so-and-so's cousin states blah-blah-blah". Then maybe through a link in the "External links" section to Mulberry Street in Springfield? Even if streets with those names don't meet today, who knows what streets were named what a century ago? Curly Turkey (gobble) 06:18, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Is the book named after that particular street. I found another source that says no, this time paraphrasing Geisel.
    • Wikipedia ain't the place to decide these things—the appropriate thing to do is to note that there's disagreement. Curly Turkey (gobble) 06:15, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

Bobnorwal (talk) 21:49, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

Also need to add info in the Analysis section about the relationship between Marco and his dad. Bobnorwal (talk) 21:51, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
Rider, Benjamin (2011). "Oh, the Places You'll Go! The Examined, Happy Life". In Held, Jacob M. Dr. Seuss and Philosophy: Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. ISBN 978-1-4422-0312-9. 
There's some stuff on this pages 47–48. If you can't get access to the book, I'll see what I can put together after the GAN closes. There are some other interesting tidbits here and there in other essays of the book as well. Curly Turkey (gobble) 06:08, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

Heh. Thanks so much, Curly Turkey. You're so cool. Like the guy in a '90s action movie who shows up at the last minute to save the day. I'll add the info (and the other stuff you mentioned earlier) soon. Pretty soon. This move to FA is starting to feel like Whack-a-Mole. Knock one down, two pop up. Also note that, for some reason, I can't get into the Anderson book to look at it. Bobnorwal (talk) 21:50, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

My nerd pride takes great offence as being called—ergh—"cool" ... but I'll let it slide. I have full access to the books I've mentioned here, so I'll add anything from them that you can't, but I'd rather get the GA closed first. Technically, I think it's supposed to be closed after seven days. If you can get those page numbers done, then I'll start working at incorporating what I can into the article. Curly Turkey (gobble) 22:01, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

British date style in citations[edit]

For an American book, shouldn't the date style in the citations be American style? I don't feel like fixing them, but perhaps a gadget-wielding person can do this quite quickly and easily (especially if a hidden note/tag for American-style dates is added). Softlavender (talk) 10:03, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

  • Well, the real solution is for Americans to get with it and start using rational date formats. While you're working on that, I've "fixed" the dates for now. Curly Turkey ¡gobble! 10:15, 15 November 2014 (UTC)