Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss

Overview from Barnes and Noble:

It's the literary equivalent of buried treasure! Seuss scholar/collector Charles D. Cohen has hunted down seven rarely seen stories by Dr. Seuss. Originally published in magazines between 1950 and 1951, they include "The Bear, the Rabbit, and the Zinniga-Zanniga " (about a rabbit who is saved from a bear with a single eyelash!); "Gustav the Goldfish" (an early, rhymed version of the Beginner Book A Fish Out of Water); "Tadd and Todd" (a tale passed down via photocopy to generations of twins); "Steak for Supper" (about fantastic creatures who follow a boy home in anticipation of a steak dinner); "The Bippolo Seed" (in which a scheming feline leads an innocent duck to make a bad decision); "The Strange Shirt Spot" (the inspiration for the bathtub-ring scene in The Cat in the Hat Comes Back); and "The Great Henry McBride" (about a boy whose far-flung career fantasies are only bested by those of the real Dr. Seuss himself).
In an introduction to the collection, Cohen explains the significance these seven stories have, not only as lost treasures, but as transitional stories in Dr. Seuss's career. With a color palette that has been enhanced beyond the limitations of the original magazines in which they appeared, this is a collection of stories that no Seuss fan (whether scholar or second-grader) will want to miss!

School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Fans of Dr. Seuss had their fondest wish come true when editor Charles Cohen collected these seven lost stories (Random, 2011) which were originally published in Redbook magazine in the 1950s. They are read here by some of the finest actors of our day. Neil Patrick Harris's voice rises spectacularly as he builds to the ridiculous climax of wishes that might be had by wishing on "The Bippolo Seed." Anjelica Huston lays it on as the clever rabbit who expounds on the tragedy of a predatory bear having one eyelash too few in "The Rabbit, the Bear, and the Zinniga-Sanniga." Edward Hermann introduces lost Seussian creatures the Gritch, the Grickle, the Nupper, and the Ikka looking for "Steak for Supper" at the home of a panicked boy who bragged. Only in a Seuss story could a spot become so capricious a thing as it is when transferred from shirt to towel to tub to cat in "The Strange Shirt Spot," read by William H. Macy. Other stories include "Gustav, the Goldfish," read by Jason Lee; "Tadd and Todd," read by Joan Cusack; and Peter Dinklage reading "The Great Henry McBride." These classic Seuss tales are full of his trademark social commentary, outrageous imagination, and lyrical language. They beg to be read aloud and are done so with consummate drama by these gifted actors. Cohen ties up the production with the story of how he discovered and collected the stories, adding interesting asides. This recording is pure gold.—Constance Dickerson, Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library, OH

My thoughts:
After listening to 15 hours of Inkheart this was the perfect break.  This one hour disk had stories that were a lot more accessible for my younger listeners.  They were not able to put a face to most of the names reading the stories, but I was and here were our thoughts on each one:

The Bipplo Seed (Neil Patrick Harris)- A duck finds a box with one seed.  On the box are directions that state that once planted, you can ask for anything you want and it will grow on the tree.  The duck plans to ask for a weeks supply of food until a cat comes along and starts filling his mind with idea of money and opening a store.  They plan to ask the tree for more than either one of them could ever use so that they can get rich, until the seed flies out of the ducks hand and into the river.  Their selfishness and greed costs them to chance to get anything at all.

The Rabbit, the Bear and the Zinniga-Zannigo (Angelica Huston)- A rabbit saves itself from being eaten by a bear by convincing the bear that he is off balance because one eye has one less eyelash than the other.  Shows how quick thinking can save someone even if they are smaller or weaker.

Gustav the Goldfish (Jason Lee)- Very much like A Fish out of Water which was written by Seuss's first wife, except that this version rhymes.  Not sure if Lee had the right voice for the story though.

Tadd and Todd (Joan Cusack)- Two twins, one of whom wants to look different and be his own person, who somehow always look the same even when one attempts to do something outlandish.

Steak for Supper (Edward Hermann)  Reminded me a lot of To Think that I saw it on Mulberry Street as the boy is walking home and says out loud how his family always has steak for supper on Saturday who gets a crazy assortment of beings who want to tag along and eat his expensive, $1 a pound, steak.

The Strange Shirt Spot (William H. Macy)- This idea was later used in The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, but was still fun to listen to.

The Great Henry McBride (Peter Dinklage)- Similar to other stories by Seuss about what someone could grow up to be.

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375864353
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 9/27/2011
  • Pages: 72
  • Sales rank: 23,034
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years

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