cover image Horton and the Kwuggerbug: And More Lost Stories

Horton and the Kwuggerbug: And More Lost Stories

Dr. Seuss. Random, $15 (56p) ISBN 978-0-385-38298-4

Charles D. Cohen, the avid Seussian behind The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories, presents another four little-known manuscripts by Theodor Seuss Geisel. In his introduction, Cohen contextualizes the tales, which were published in Redbook and never became full-fledged picture books. In the title tale, “Horton and the Kwuggerbug” (1951), an insect and “terrible fellow! That Kwuggerbug guy” fools gentle Horton into ferrying him across an alligator-infested river and up a mountain to a delicious, out-of-reach Beezlenut tree. “Marco Comes Late” (1950) reprises And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street as Marco exaggerates his reasons for arriving late to school. Mulberry Street’s escalating formula likewise figures in “How Officer Pat Saved the Whole Town” (1950), about a policeman who anticipates trouble on a quiet day. The most interesting entry is a two-page fragment, “The Hoobub and the Grinch” (1955), in which a proto-Grinch character urges a gullible creature to pay 98¢ for some string. By no means gems, these archives suggest how Geisel tinkered with characters, developed his signature tetrameter, and commented on ethical issues, circa 1950. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)