The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories

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The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories
The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories cover.jpg
AuthorDr. Seuss
GenreChildren's literature
PublisherRedbook (magazines)
Random House (book)
Publication date
June/August/November 1950 ("Gustav the Goldfish", "Tadd and Todd" and "Steak for Supper")
February/June/September/November 1951 ("The Rabbit, the Bear and the Zinniga-Zanniga", "The Bippolo Seed", "The Strange Shirt Spot" and "The Great Henry McBride")
September 27, 2011
Preceded byHooray for Diffendoofer Day! 
Followed byHorton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories 

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".[1] 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 as follows:[1]

  • "The Bippolo Seed" (60th-anniversary edition): 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, all at once.


The collection was published by Random House on September 27, 2011.[2] The stories originally appeared in magazines in 1950 and 1951.[2] Dr. Seuss died in 1991, and the stories were later rediscovered by Charles D. Cohen, a Massachusetts dentist and Seuss scholar.[3] Cathy Goldsmith of Random House encountered the magazine stories in one of Cohen's eBay auctions, around 2001.[3] 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.[3] He also contributed an introduction to this collection.[3]


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.[4] "Gustav the Goldfish" rhymes, unlike A Fish out of Water.[2] Seuss later reused the basic plot of "The Strange Shirt Spot" for 1958's The Cat in the Hat Comes Back.[4] 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.[5]

The story "The Rabbit, the Bear, and the Zinniga-Zanniga" was recorded by Marvin Miller and released on the 1965 album Dr. Seuss presents..."Fox in Socks" and "Green Eggs & Ham" on RCA Records.


  1. ^ a b The Bippolo Seed and Other Stories, Random House, retrieved July 20, 2011
  2. ^ a b c "Random Uncovers 'New' Seuss Stories", Publishers Weekly, March 29, 2011, retrieved July 20, 2011
  3. ^ a b c d "Lost stories by Dr. Seuss to be published", CBC News, April 7, 2011, retrieved July 20, 2011
  4. ^ a b Nel 2007, p. 164
  5. ^ Nel 2007, p. 116