cover image Dr. Seuss & Mr. Geisel: A Biography

Dr. Seuss & Mr. Geisel: A Biography

Judith Morgan / Author, Neil Morgan / With Random House (NY) $

In this authorized biography, California journalists Judith and Neil Morgan present a dutifully researched and intimate portrait of the late children's-book author and artist beloved by millions. Fans of The Cat in the Hat, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas and other classics may be surprised to learn that Dr. Seuss was terrified of children and had none of his own, and that writing verse was a supreme effort for him. While children's literature is Ted Geisel's principal claim to fame, his creative life was multifarious, including an apprenticeship with film director and army major Frank Capra during WWII and stints in advertising. The authors deftly evoke the settings where Geisel lived and worked, such as his hometown of Springfield, Mass.; Oxford, England, where he studied; and coastal La Jolla, Calif., where he spent roughly half his life. Friends of their subject, the Morgans also vividly depict a quiet but exuberant man with a keen wit and biting--though never mean-spirited--sense of humor. A pleasing combination of fact and anecdote, this volume is a fitting tribute. (Apr.)