arts & entertainment
By Hope Katz Gibbs
ALTHOUGH THEODORE SEUSS Geisel,
better known as Dr. Seuss, died in 1991,
nearly 25 years later he’s able to give us a
remarkable gift: the new book What Pet
Should I Get?
Cathy Goldsmith, vice president and
associate publishing director at Random
House Books for Young Readers, was one of
the first recipients of a call from Dr. Seuss’
widow, Audrey, who
discovered the unpub-
lished manuscript in
the fall of 2013.
“We got the call as
soon as she rediscovered the box filled with
pages of text and sketches, which had origi-
nally been found shortly after Ted’s death in
1991, while [Audrey was] remodeling their
home,” Goldsmith shares with The Connection
from her office in New York City. “But it spent
all this time forgotten in a closet in his office
until Audrey and Ted’s longtime secretary,
Claudia Prescott, were cleaning house.”
“The contents of the box were placed in
The Costco Connection
What Pet Should I Get? (Item #735803,
available now) is available in most
neat piles on a glass-top table, and What Pet
was there waiting for us,” says Goldsmith,
who estimates it was written between 1958
and 1962 because the starring brother-and-sister team are the same characters featured in
Geisel’s 1960 best-seller, One Fish Two Fish
Red Fish Blue Fish.
Once the new book was in her hands,
Goldsmith says, she felt guided by Geisel: “My
connection to Ted remains as vital as it was
when we worked closely together years ago. I
know he is looking down, watching over the
process, and I feel a tremendous responsibil-
ity to do everything just as he would have
Readers will find familiar characters,
bright colors and the rhyme pattern that the
good doctor made famous. Plus, a couple of
lessons in the art of growing up.
“What I love about this book is that it’s
about a classic childhood moment: choosing
a pet,” explains Goldsmith, who worked with
Dr. Seuss for the last 11 years of his life in the
role of art director at Random House. She also
shepherded this new title to publication.
“It also drives home another essential
message: Make up your mind,” she says,
referring to the portion of the story where the
children are behaving as do most kids—and
some adults—when having to choose from a
cornucopia of possibilities. They ask:
“What if we took
one of each kind of pet?
Then our house would be
full of the pets we could get.”
But then they reconsider.
“NO … Dad would be mad.
We could only have one.
If we do not choose,
we will end up with NONE.”
Finding this new creation by
Dr. Seuss actually didn’t shock his
“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,” Audrey told
The find, in fact, was all the sweeter as
it was published on the 25th anniversary of
Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, which was heretofore
the last book of Geisel’s career.
Random House Children’s Books says
that at least two more books will be published
from the materials discovered, with titles and
publication dates to be announced. C
Hope Katz Gibbs, a journalist and publicist
in Richmond, Virginia, has been collecting
Dr. Seuss books since she was 6.
NOVEMBER 2015 ;e Costco Connection 49
Dr. Seuss does it again with
What Pet Should I Get?