Theodore Geisel was born in 1904 in Springfield, Massachusetts. Geisel was the son of a German-American brewer whose prosperous life came to an end with Prohibition. Geisel’s father managed to send his son to Dartmouth where Geisel worked on the college’s humor magazine. Geisel then went to Oxford University to pursue a graduate degree, but never completed the program. Geisel did meet fellow American student, Helen Palmer, who would become his first wife and invaluable collaborator.
When Geisel and his wife returned to America, Geisel worked in advertising by drawing humorous ads for products like motor oil, insect repellent, and other consumer necessities. But, surprisingly, Geisel really wanted to write and illustrate children’s books. From his first book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street (1937), Geisel’s work possessed a unique look and feel. Each book sold more than the one before it as the audience for Dr. Seuss books grew. If you’re a fan of Dr. Seuss books, you’ll find plenty of background on all the key titles. Do you have a favorite Dr. Seuss book? GRADE: B+