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The Early Works of Dr. Seuss: Volume 1    by Theodor Seuss Geisel order for
Early Works of Dr. Seuss
by Theodor Seuss Geisel
Order:  USA  Can
Checker, 2005 (2005)
* * *   Reviewed by Lance Victor Eaton

Before the Grinch raided Whoville or we began to feast on green eggs and ham, Dr. Seuss had already established himself as a popular cartoon artist for numerous publications. Born on March 2, 1904, Theodor Seuss Geisel sold his first cartoon to the Saturday Evening Post at age twenty-three. He made twenty-five dollars for the publication, which is actually not that far behind what cartoonists get for their pieces nowadays. In this collection of Seuss's early works, readers discover the various places of employment that Seuss accrued during the first half of the twentieth century.

In addition to working for magazines such as Judge and Liberty Magazine, and publishing editorial cartoons for numerous newspapers, Seuss also worked on several ad campaigns and other interesting projects. The book opens with a brief introduction followed by a short biography and timeline of Seuss's life. The first original Seuss included is his 'This Is Ann' pamphlet, a detailed, humorous article on protecting oneself from catching malaria. The publication was distributed to the military en masse during World War II. In it, one can see both the art and the literary capabilities that Seuss would later use in his many children's books.

Seuss's ad campaigns provide entertaining and intriguing content, including his work for Atlas Motor Products. Again, his identifiable artwork proves a strong seal of recognition. Many of his World War II editorial cartoons can also be found (and greatly appreciated) herein. Seuss always seemed to inject subversive undertones in them. There appears to be an artistic activist inside him that occasionally comes out in his drawings. Looking through his editorial cartoons and then reflecting on the meanings and origins of many of his books, a person can be very tempted to write an analytical thesis upon the writings of this great children's entertainer.

Seuss fans (let's face it, they outrank almost any other fan base) will relish this anthology of different publications not typically associated with the good doctor. Beyond that, this book provides an interesting look at advertisement and at contemporary commentary from previous generations. The Early Works of Dr. Seuss adds more, and fascinating, depth to what is known of the already classic writer and illustrator.

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