Dr. Seuss & Mr. Geisel : A Biography

by Judith & Neil Morgan | Biographies & Memoirs |
ISBN: 0679416862 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingmaryzeewing of Taneytown, Maryland USA on 5/22/2006
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8 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingmaryzeewing from Taneytown, Maryland USA on Monday, May 22, 2006
Picked up this used hb copy at Amazon.com to replace Bobbarama's bookring copy, which seems to be lost in the mail. This book has already had a previous life - it bears an inscription (difficult to read) dated August 3, 1995.

From the cover -
This captivating biography of the bestselling children's author in history reveals at last the man who had a unique influence on four generations of Americans, who championed children's rights before that phrase was familiar, and who revolutionized the way children learn to read. The very name Dr. Seuss inevitably provokes a smile and some recollection of a beloved character - Horton, perhaps, or Thidwick or the Cat in the Hat. Yet during his lifetime their creator was an enigma. In his years at Dartmouth, Oxford, New York, and Hollywood, mingling with the famous and notorious, he remained reclusive and plagued by self-doubts, but never lost his love of childish playfulness.
Was Ted Geisel really a genius, as his publisher Bennett Cerf believed, or, as he himself always insisted, just lucky? In forty-seven books of nonsensical charm, from And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street in 1937 to Oh, the Places You'll Go! in 1990, his recurring theme was that children had an inalienable right to mischief, love, and hope. But many librarians and teachers considered him a subversive influence when his revolutionary Cat in the Hat signaled the demise of dreary Dick-and-Jane primers.
Ted Geisel was a dreamer who saw the world "through the wrong end of a telescope." In his eighty-seven years, he met seven U.S. presidents, but was more proud of the fact that he had seen Halley's Comet twice. An obsessively private man, he rarely revealed anything of his personal and professional agonies - or of the bawdy Seussian verses he wrote for friends.
Judith and Neil Morgan knew Ted Geisel in the latter half of his life, and here they merge their firsthand insights with scholarly research, drawing material from hundreds of letters and interviews, as well as from their subject's notes for an unpublished autobiography. They had full access to Geisel's voluminous papers, illuminating his relationship with both of his wives and providing instructive glimpses of his creative processes. The result is a frank and felicitous biography as unique as its subject.

Journal Entry 2 by wingmaryzeewing from Taneytown, Maryland USA on Monday, May 22, 2006
This is going to replace Bobbarama's bookring, which appears to be lost in the mail.

Remaining participants on the list -
ladilee24 (Pennsylvania)
DoveiLibri (Florida)
dittybopper (Louisiana)
debnance (Texas)
jessibud (Canada)
PandaLHU (Maryland)
Glade1 (North Carolina)
bobbarama (So he can donate it to the BC bookshelf)

Mailing this out to Ladilee24 priority on 5/23.

Journal Entry 3 by ladilee24 from Newark, Delaware USA on Thursday, May 25, 2006
YAY, finally made it to me on the second try, after the first book went AWOL (see link to previous ring). Going to start reading this right away!

Journal Entry 4 by ladilee24 from Newark, Delaware USA on Wednesday, May 31, 2006
I really enjoyed this biogaphy of Dr. Seuss, an author and artist whose work I will always treasure (you are never too old for some Seuss!) Ted Geisel seems to have been a gentleman, strongly driven to perfection with his art, but also devoted to keeping his work from being used in any crass way. I already had read several works about Ted Geisel's early non-book work (The Tought Coughs as He Ploughs the Dough, and Dr Seuss goes to War) so those parts of this book had less that was new to tell me. I enjoyed reading about Ted's relationship with his first wife, Helen, and with the rest of his family. I did feel like the authors glossed over A LOT in the section discussing Helen's suicide and Ted's remarriage to Audrey, his second wife. But these authors were personal friends of Dr. Seuss, and the books shortcomings are in the fact that it is sometimes too sunny about the artist's life. You can see how much Dr Seuss was admired around the world in this book, though, and that remains true today. A fun and interesting read.

I'll ship this on to DoveiLibri tomororow, June 1.

Journal Entry 5 by wingDove-i-Libriwing from Cape Coral, Florida USA on Saturday, June 10, 2006
The book is here, and now I fear,
I have to read at greater speed
So that this tome can make it home!

OK, so I'm not as Seussian as I thought I was! *wry grin*

Anyway, the thought is clear: I'm very glad the book is here! (Oh, now I've started, I cannot stop.
No more rhyming, or my tongue I'll lop!)

Two bookrings ahead to finish fast,
But do not worry, they will not last ...
Then on to this one,
One, two, three,
And pass it to "DittyBopper" after me!

Thank you, Bobbarama, for starting this ring.
Thank you, MaryZee, for continu-ing!
And, finally, for mailing to me,
Thank you and good day to Ladilee!

Would you like to make us grin? So, on our map just place your pin!

*hee hee hee*

Decided to include the link to the original BOOKRING here.

Journal Entry 6 by wingDove-i-Libriwing from Cape Coral, Florida USA on Wednesday, June 21, 2006
June 21, 2006:
The first day of summer,
And, Oh! What fun!
I've started to read
Out in the sun ....
A few more days, and what do you know?
Into the mail this book will go!

Monday, June 26, 2006:
I've done it, I've read it, I've finished the book,
Now, to the post office, by hook or by crook,
On Tuesday, I'll run, to send this book!

Not first class, not Parcel Post,
By Media Mail, I really can't boast ...
Hope it arrives safe and sound
because the extra postage just couldn't be found!

Happy Reading!

Make our family stand and cheer, Visit our guest map by clicking here!

Link to the original BOOKRING.

Released 15 yrs ago (6/27/2006 UTC) at -- By Hand Or Post, Ray/Ring, RABCK, Meet-Up in Fort Myers, Florida USA


Sending to DittyBopper via media mail. happy traveling, book! Happy reading, Ditty!

Link to the original BOOKRING.

Journal Entry 8 by dittybopper from Hammond, Louisiana USA on Wednesday, July 5, 2006
Received today and starting reading it at work (bad ditty!). Thanks to DoveiLibri (love your rhymes!)for sending it along, Bobbarama for starting the ring, and to MaryZee for reviving it. It won't take me long to gobble up this book and then I'll have it on its way quickly.

Journal Entry 9 by dittybopper from Hammond, Louisiana USA on Sunday, July 9, 2006
I truly enjoyed reading about the life of Dr. Seuss. He is an author that influenced me as a child and now that I'm all grown up and have learned about the man behind the books, I am in love with his writing all over again. I am eager to begin collecting Dr. Seuss books now! I will keep them here and handy for visits from neices and nephews to enjoy, not to mention myself and my youngest son! At one time I had a fairly nice collection but gave them away to the charity shop - now I yearn to have them back. Thanks to everyone for sharing the "Seuss experience" with me. I will contact jessibud for an address and have the book on its way soon.

Journal Entry 10 by dittybopper from Hammond, Louisiana USA on Saturday, July 15, 2006
Jessibud has requested to be bumped down one space on the list so I am sending this one next to debnance who can then pass it to Jessibud. Mailing today. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 11 by debnance from Alvin, Texas USA on Monday, July 24, 2006

Dr. Seuss & Mr. Geisel arrived in the mail today. Hurray! All I know about Dr. Seuss is what I learned last year by reading the children's biography, The Boy on Fairfield Street, written by one of my favorite authors, Kathleen Krull. It will be interesting to compare Seuss' life as seen by a children's author and as seen by authors writing for adults.

More later....

Journal Entry 12 by debnance from Alvin, Texas USA on Sunday, July 30, 2006
The person who sets out to write a biography of Dr. Seuss ought to be screened for Seussian magic. The Morgans would not have passed the screening. A very ho-hum biography of a man who was never ho-hum. I went into the book curious about Seuss: How does such a writer come about? Instead, the book recites the life events of Seuss, as seen from a distant, remote planet. I sought the secrets of Seuss; instead, I saw a semblance of Seuss.

Released 15 yrs ago (7/31/2006 UTC) at Controlled Release (Details In Notes) in -- Mail, by hand, rings, RABCks etc, Texas USA



Off to Canada to the reader!

Journal Entry 14 by jessibud from Toronto, Ontario Canada on Friday, August 18, 2006
Arrived yesterday and I will begin it tomorrow as I will finish up the book I am currently reading today!


Journal Entry 15 by jessibud from Toronto, Ontario Canada on Thursday, November 23, 2006
I interrupt this bookring to bring you the following special report:

This morning, Thursday, November 23, 2006, at approximately 10:30 a.m., my class, my educational assistants and one mom, sat in palpable anticipation as the curtain rose on the production of *Seussical -The Musical*, at Toronto's Lorraine Kimsa Theatre For Young People. Seventy-five minutes later, we practically floated out of there, grinning from ear to ear, from there to here!



Everything was wonderful: the costumes, the set, the music, the choreography, the acting. Everything. Don't just take my word for it, though. An entire theatre filled with school groups of young kids sat transfixed for 75 minutes, no break, no twitching, no fidgeting, no requests to go to the bathroom, no talking. AT ALL!!

I have spent a good part of the last 2 weeks reading to my students some of the Dr. Seuss books that I knew had characters who would make an appearance today. I teach very young kids (ages 5-8), several of whom are new to our country, language and culture, and who have not had any previous exposure to Dr. Seuss. To have it all so fresh, then suddenly, come to life today (because 3 of my students are in wheelchairs, we also happened to have front row seating), well, it was just magical.

I will end with Horton's mantra, because after all,
"a person's a person, no matter how small!"

jessibud (five foot, nothin'), who totally agrees...


By the way, I want to take this opportunity to apologize profusely for stalling this bookring. I am only about halfway through the Seuss biography but despite that, and how long I've had it in my possession, I am enjoying it immensely. I will try my very best to finish it within the next week or 2, tops. To say that other *stuff* is going on would not be a lie but I don't want to make excuses. In a meek attempt to deflect the rotten tomatoes flying my way, I have to add one more funny coincidence that occurred while I was reading this book. I posted about it in a recent Book Talk thread:

I now return you to your regularly scheduled bookring. Good night.

Journal Entry 16 by jessibud from Toronto, Ontario Canada on Saturday, December 16, 2006
Done!! I finally finished this book and while I am happy to at last be passing it along after having it here for so long, I was sad to say goodbye to this wonderful and complex man.

I have to leave you with just a few of my favourite insights into the man whose influence will truly go on and on:

1) In 1974, Geisel became friends with the American satirist, Art Buchwald. In the midst of the Watergate scandal, Buchwald dared Geisel to write a political book. Geisel responded by taking a piece of his own silly book, *Marvin K. Mooney* and rewriting it:

"Richard M. Nixon, will you please go now!
The time has come.
The time is now.
Just go.
I don't care how.
You can go by foot.
You can go by cow.
Richard M. Nixon, will you please go now!
You can go on skates.
You can go on skis.
You can go in a hat.
Please go.

He gave Buchwald permission to print it in his newspaper column.
"Nine days later, on August 8, 1974, Nixon announced his resignation. Buchwald claimed full credit, Ted claimed full intent, and both were widely cheered. Ted wrote Art, "We sure got him, didn't we? We should have collaborated sooner."


2) Ted's seventy-five second address to the graduates of Lake Forest college outside of Chicago in 1977:
"My uncle ordered popovers
from the restaurant's bill of fare.
And when they were served,
he regarded them
with a penetrating stare...
Then he spoke great Words of Wisdom
as he sat there on that chair:
"To eat these things,"
said my uncle,
"you must exercise great care.
You may swallow down what's solid...
you must spit out the air!"

as you partake of the world's bill of fare,
that's darned good advice to follow.
Do a lot of spitting out the hot air.
And be careful what you swallow."

3) And, fittingly last, but not least:

Miles Davis, the jazz trumpeter, died four days after Ted, and Canadian newspaper cartoonist Bruce MacKinnon drew the two men meeting on a heavenly cloud. Both had acquired wings. Davis, holding his trumpet, wore his trademark slouch hat, and Ted, his trademark bowtie. "So you're Dr. Seuss," Davis said. Ted replied, "So you're the cat in the hat."

Thanks again to everyone in this ring for your patience with my slowness. The book will be on its way to PandaLHU this afternoon.

Journal Entry 17 by jessibud from Toronto, Ontario Canada on Sunday, February 18, 2007
I just wanted to add another note here, letting everyone know that I have been in touch with PandaLHU and she did, indeed, receive the book when I mailed it to her back in December. I had a PM from her in January, letting me know that she was almost finished reading it. I PM'd back, suggesting that she journal here, but PMs are so unreliable these days that I have a feeling she may not have received it.

Anyhow, just wanted to let folks know that, as of Jan. 23/07, the book was still safe with PandaLHU.

Journal Entry 18 by PandaLHU from Baltimore, Maryland USA on Friday, March 23, 2007
I really enjoyed this book! It took me sometime to get through it because things got busy at work where my 3rd graders were getting ready for the Maryland State Tests. THere was so much I loved about the book that I could write pages... so to keep it short and sweet! I say everyone who loves Seuss should check this book out!

Journal Entry 19 by moondawgger from Carlsbad, California USA on Wednesday, July 25, 2007
This book has finally completed its long journey. Thanks to everyone, but especially to MaryZee, who bought a replacement copy after the original book got lost in the mail.

MaryZee ... let me know what you'd like me to do with the book. It feels like it's more yours than mine now. I'll send it back to you or wild release it. Your choice.

And thanks to whoever passed on the newspaper article and the book mark. I'd love to give you credit for either or both, so let me know and I'll drop in here and tweak my comment!!

Woo hoo! Another one done!!!

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