The Cat in the Hat
Dr. Seuss. New York: Random House, 1957. First Edition. Very Good.
Illustrated by Seuss. First edition, first printing. Publisher's blue pictorial paper-covered boards with an illustration of The Cat in the Hat lettered in white, red, and black to front board, blue pictorial endpapers with illustrations matching boards; in the original matching pictorial dust jacket with "200/200" price to front flap. Very good, light wear to edges, shaken slightly spine, very minor bit of soiling to front board, previous owner's stamp to rear pastedown; dust jacket with some wear and creasing to extremities, and a tiny spot of soiling to upper rear panel. Overall, a bright and beautiful copy. Much nicer than usual. The Cat in the Hat is a short children's book published by Theodore Geisel under the pseudonym Dr. Seuss that tells the story of a young boy and girl whose quiet rainy day at home is disrupted by the arrival of the mischievous Cat in the Hat. A significant text in the history of children's literature, The Cat in the Hat is both the book that brought Geisel literary fame and revolutionized the way children learned to read. It was published in response to a perceived literary crisis and was supposed to inspire a love for reading in young students that was not facilitated by the traditional Dick and Jane readers; as the dust jacket explains, The Cat in the Hat opens "the door to the wondrous discovery that reading can be fun!" To achieve this goal, Geisel created the story from only 223 words that were considered within the reading ability of the average first grade student in the United States based on the phonetic skills and vocabulary required of the national first grade primer. Interestingly, Houghton Mifflin proposed the idea of using a set number of words on the first grade primer to create a text geared towards students, but Seuss had a pre-established contract with Random House. Accordingly, Random House published this first trade edition while Houghton Mifflin retained the right for school publications.