Book Review: The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss

18 Feb

22388055.jpgAs a former children’s librarian and book lover, I know Dr. Seuss’s work like the back of my hand, I know his real name was Theodore Seuss Geisel and I know we now have an easy reader award named in his honor.  What I didn’t know was that he was an artist in his own right – a part that was wholly separate from who he was as an author/illustrator.

My partner hid my anniversary gift on our bookshelf and told me to find it – we have a floor to ceiling book shelf in our office filled (almost to the brim) with books of all sizes and sorts. He’s figured out that books make me a very happy person, so for Christmas he did something similar and found the exact edition of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them  that I was looking for and added it to my Harry Potter shelf (yes, Harry gets his own shelf). So for our anniversary, he added The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss to my picture book shelf – not exactly the right location, but I’ll forgive him for that.

This book is a collection of pieces done by Dr. Seuss that had never before been seen by the public or published in any of his children’s books. And it is fascinating! You can see the images and know it’s a Dr. Seuss piece, but at the same time many are very different from what you see in his artwork for his books. The art he created for himself is more developed in that there are backgrounds that are more fully realized and architecture that brings to mind M.C. Escher. And then you’ll see a part of the painting that brings to mind one of his books – it’s extremely interesting to see!

If you enjoy art and children’s literature, I highly recommend paging through this book. The only thing I wanted more of was background about Dr. Seuss’s life and his view on his artwork, but the introduction by Maurice Sendak is extremely interesting as they were close friends and seeing a little more into both their lives gives you, as the reader, a new perspective.

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