The Cat in the Hat
Theodor Seuss Geisel ("Dr. Seuss")
Price: 2,750.00 USD
New York: Random House, 1957. This is the first edition, first printing, in dust jacket of one of the most iconic books by one of the world's most iconic children's authors, Dr. Seuss. Born in Springfield, Massachusetts, Theodor Seuss Geisel (1904-1991), later known to the world as Dr. Seuss, was "probably the best-loved and certainly the best-selling children's book writer of all time" (New York Times Book Review). Geisel started out as a freelance cartoonist and then, perhaps improbably, an advertising department employee of Standard Oil, where he spent 15 years. His first children's book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, was conceived aboard a ship returning from a European vacation with his wife, where it was the rhythm of the ship's engine that inspired the story's signature rhyme. The book was rejected 27 times before being published by Vanguard Press. Geisel's illustration style, with the addition of his signature rhymes, would become the basis for his 44 children's books. The Cat in the Hat, published in 1957, was the result of a joint venture between Houghton Mifflin and Random House. While Geisel was under contract with Random House, Houghton Mifflin approached him to write a children's book using only vocabulary from a list of 225 words for early readers. Due to his contract, Random House retained the trade publication rights while Houghton Mifflin obtained the school rights. By all accounts, Geisel underestimated the challenge of working within the confines of the word list. "Seuss was used to inventing words when he needed them, so to stick to a word list was a huge challenge for him," and it reportedly took him a year and a half to write the book. Intended by the publisher as a children's primer, the book vastly exceeded expectations, and its huge success made "Dr. Seuss" a household name. The Cat in the Hat also revolutionized the conventional approach to children's primers. The book was so successful that Random House created a special division, Beginner Books, with the Cat in the Hat as the logo and Dr. Seuss as president of the division. Here is the first edition, first printing in the rare first edition dust jacket. All of the first edition points are present; "200/200" on the dust jacket upper front flap, unglazed binding, and contents comprised of a single signature. Condition of both the dust jacket and volume is very good plus. The binding remains square and tight with bright color, showing only minor wear and slight toning and soiling to extremities. The contents remain clean and bright with no previous ownership marks or spotting noted. The dust jacket is notably bright and complete, with light wear primarily confined to the hinges, spine ends and corners, a 1.25 inch closed tear at the lower front flap hinge, and light soiling, mainly to the rear panel. The dust jacket is protected in a removable, archival quality clear cover. First U.S. edition, first printing.