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My Many Colored Days [Board book]
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About the Author

Dr. Seuss was born Theodor Geisel in Springfield, Massachusetts on March 2, 1904. After attending Dartmouth College and Oxford University, he began a career in advertising. His advertising cartoons, featuring Quick, Henry, the Flit!, appeared in several leading American magazines. Dr. Seuss's first children's book, And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street, hit the market in 1937, and the world of children's literature was changed forever! In 1957, Seuss's The Cat in the Hat became the prototype for one of Random House's best- selling series, Beginner Books. This popular series combined engaging stories with outrageous illustrations and playful sounds to teach basic reading skills. Brilliant, playful, and always respectful of children, Dr. Seuss charmed his way into the consciousness of four generations of youngsters and parents. In the process, he helped kids learn to read. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1984 and two Academy Awards, Seuss was the author and illustrator of 44 children's books, some of which have been made into audiocassettes, animated television specials, and videos for children of all ages. Even after his death in 1991, Dr. Seuss continues to be the best-selling author of children's books in the world.

Steve Johnson was born in White Bear Lake, Minnesota and earned a B.F.A. in illustration from the School of Associated Arts in St. Paul, Minnesota. Steve's stunning illustrations have been seen in many magazines, but it was not until Knopf asked him to illustrate No Star Nights in 1989 that he began his career as a children's book illustrator. Since then, Steve and his wife Lou Fancher has collaborated on the illustrations and design on a number of notable children's books. They are currently among the most sought after of children's book artists. Steve and Lou fell in love with the My Many Colored Days manuscript at first sight, seeing in it an unusual opportunity to create something that is at once both childlike and sophisticated. Steve and Lou currently reside in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Reviews

The archives of many a late author, from Margaret Wise Brown (Four Fur Feet) to Sylvia Plath (The It-Doesn't-Matter Suit), often yield unpublished manuscripts. Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, is no exception: he wrote but did not illustrate this rhyme, which assigns colors to moods. The effort is pleasant but lightweight: "You'd be/ surprised/ how many ways/ I change/ on Different/ Colored/ Days," announces a child, portrayed as a flat, gingerbread-man shape of yellow, then blue, then purple. Spread by spread, the character metamorphoses into animals of varying hues, from an energetic red horse to a secretive green fish to a droopy violet brontosaur ("On Purple Days/ I'm sad./ I groan./ I drag my tail./ I walk alone"). Husband and wife Johnson and Fancher (Cat, You Better Come Home) do not mime the author's pen-and-ink creations but work in pasty, expressionistic brushstrokes and blocky typefaces that change with the narrative tone. The characteristically catchy Seussian rhyme could help turn a Gray Day into a "busy, buzzy" (Yellow) one, and the snazzy die-cut jacket gives this volume an immediate lift above the competition. But the pointed message of Oh, the Places You'll Go! and the genius of Seuss's early work go missing. Ages 3-8. (Sept.)

PreS-Gr 2-An amusing look at how color affects children's lives and especially their behavior: red days are good for kicking up one's heels and blue ones for flapping one's wings. Purple days are sad, pink are happy, black are mad, and mixed up-watch out! There is an unevenness and unfinished quality to the text, as the patterned flow appears to be interrupted many times and the word choice gets lost in the rhyme. The artists obviously had fun with this book-an enormous gray owl watchfully peers out at readers, busy bees buzz across a yellow page, a cool fish glides in a green sea, a purple dinosaur sadly drags his tail, and pink leggy flamingos just don't think. Simplistic stylized illustrations, initially reminiscent of children's snow angels or gingerbread cookies, help to create the fantasy by letting the colors speak and have a memorable impact. In fact, they far outshine the words. Youngsters will want to talk about how they feel color, and even the unevenness of the text will not deter them-they will quickly set the book aside and get into their own ideas.-Ronald Jobe, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

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