Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman won’t be the only unearthed book from a beloved author appearing in bookstores this summer. Random House Children’s Books has announced the July 28 publication of What Pet Should I Get?, following the rediscovery of the full text and illustrations for this book in the office space of the late Ted Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss.
The book features the siblings from Seuss’s One Fish Two Fish Red Fish as they attempt to choose a pet. Publication was announced by Barbara Marcus, president and publisher of RHCB, and Susan Brandt, president of licensing and marketing at Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P.
The discovery of the materials isn’t exactly new – according to Random House, they were found by Geisel’s widow, Audrey Geisel, and his longtime secretary and friend, Claudia Prescott, in fall 2013. In a statement, RH said that two or more books derived from the found work will be released, as well, with publication information to follow.
What Pet Should I Get? follows the publication of The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories in 2011 and Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories in 2014, both of which gathered stories Geisel published in Redbook magazine in the 1950s. Other posthumously published Seuss titles have included Daisy-Head Mayzie (1995), My Many Colored Days (1996), and Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! (1998).
“While undeniably special, it is not surprising to me that we found this because Ted always worked on multiple projects and started new things all the time—he was constantly writing and drawing and coming up with ideas for new stories,” said Audrey Geisel in a statement, noting that 2015 also marks the 25th anniversary of Geisel’s final book, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
“We believe that he wrote and illustrated What Pet Should I Get? somewhere between 1958 and 1962—as the brother and sister in the book are the same as those in his bestselling Beginner Book One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish which was published in 1960,” said Cathy Goldsmith, v-p and associate publisher at Random House Books for Young Readers. As Geisel’s former art director, Goldsmith is the only remaining RH BFYR executive to have worked with Geisel before his death in 1991.
“To be able to share this newly discovered Dr. Seuss book that was created during a most prolific period in his career marks a special moment in children’s book publishing,” said Marcus. “The millions and millions of children and adults who have learned to love reading because of Dr. Seuss can now look forward to adding this treasure to their beloved collections.” According to RH, the found materials will be kept at UC San Diego as part of its Dr. Seuss Collection.