A new spotlight is cast on the timeless books, characters, and life of Dr. Seuss with Random House’s launch this week of an enhanced, interactive Web site. Featuring the Cat in the Hat as host and extensive animation and music, the site includes a comprehensive guide to the spirited characters from the Seuss canon, video clips from animated television adaptations, a searchable catalog of titles, a revamped biography of the author, galleries of Seuss’s early sketches and artwork, parent and teacher resources, and listings of Seuss-related events.
Celebrating the tenets of Dr. Seuss’s work—discovery, imagination, and creativity—the Web site has a timely launch, says Linda Leonard, director of new media marketing at Random House Children’s Books. “With children so immersed in digital media, we felt it was the right time to bring Dr. Seuss’s characters to life in this highly interactive way,” she says.
Leonard notes that the site has interactive elements designed to appeal to a range of visitors. “For kids, there are games and activities that have never been seen before, and for parents there is much rich and fascinating content to discover about Seuss and his life.” Teachers will find month-by-month suggestions for bringing the books of Dr. Seuss to life in the classroom. Content aimed at parents range from tips for reading aloud to their children and planning Seuss-themed birthday parties.
Fans will also learn some Seussian trivia: Horton Hatches the Egg was the first book ever adapted by Warner Bros. for a cartoon—in 1942; and Dr. Seuss considered the 1989 TV adaptation of The Butter Battle Book to be the most faithful rendition of any of his books.
To develop the site, the publisher collaborated with Big Bad Tomato Interactive Agency in Los Angeles. In addition to appealing to the sensibilities of computer savvy kids, the site aims to inspire what Big Bad Tomato’s Robert Bursa calls “a sense of nostalgia and rediscovery for the adults who grew up reading the iconic books.” Random House is also partnering with this company to create a new Facebook game, set to launch next month, in which players complete a variety of Seuss-themed activities to try to win the title of Mayor of Seussville.
“The new site was built to mirror all that we love about Dr. Seuss—his wit, spontaneity, intelligence, imagination, and fun,” says Leonard. “It will surprise and educate in a way that is entertaining and accessible. And that’s true not just for kids, but for adults too.”