Book Review: The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss

Posted on December 2, 2011

Cover of The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss


The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss
Random House Books for Young Readers
Fiction, Ages: 6 and Up
Hardcover, 72 pages

Rejoice all Seuss readers, both young and old. New, previously unpublished in book form, stories by Dr. Seuss, a.ka. Theodore Geisel, have been gathered into a collection that is sure to please everyone. Also, included is a very helpful preface to this collection is the introduction by Charles D. Cohen, an expert and collector of Dr. Seuss materials. Stories in the collection were previously published in magazines, but never appeared in book form until now. These stories show Seuss in his earliest form when he was building his style and his literary personality.

This collection of early Seuss already carries the reader along in Seuss's signature mostly anapaestic beat to the logical end of each ridiculous situation. Each story ends with a sensible solution that gently feeds wisdom into the chaos of the story and leaves the reader/listener with a proper sense of the way things ought to be. "The Bippolo Seed" follows the excesses that greed can generate, and of course ends in the loss of everything. "Gustav, the Goldfish" relates how a budding pet owner who does not follow the directions of the pet store owner can end up with an impossible situation.

Of special interest will be the story of Tadd and Todd, identical twins who must make peace with their unusual situation of shared looks with a sense of self. This particular story became a favorite of parents of twins as soon as it was published. If for no other reason, this story should be made available to homes and schools where the many sets of twins now being born can enjoy the empathy that this story offers.

Dr. Seuss's wonderful anapaestic romp through his stories will serve as an excellent introduction to a wider world of experiencing poetry. Older children are sometimes surprised that poetry has a beat, and beating out the lines brings a special joy to grownups who are teaching poetry. Younger children will not need to be instructed about beat and rhythm, because they recognize it instinctively. No childhood should be deprived of poetry, or of interesting stories and illustrations. That belief, coupled with the dismal state of school reading primers, is what first inspired Dr. Seuss to write The Cat in the Hat.

The Bippolo Seed is a welcome treat, which is sure to thrill new generations of readers.

-- Sarah Reaves White

The Bippolo Seed is available for purchase from Amazon.com.