THIS IS ANN, A WORLD WAR II GOVERNMENT PUBLICATION ABOUT MALARIA, WRITTEN BY MUNRO LEAF AND ILLUSTRATED BY DR. SEUSS
(SEUSS, Dr., illustrator) [LEAF, Munro]. This Is Ann. She's Dying to Meet You. [Washington]: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1943. 12mo, staple-bound as issued, original pictorial paper wrappers. $2300.
First edition of this wonderful anti-malaria booklet for GIs, written by Munro Leaf and illustrated by Dr. Seuss.
"Before he cooked up green eggs or taught us to count colorful fish, Dr. Seuss was a captain in the U.S. Army. And during World War II, the author and illustrator, whose given name was Theodor Geisel, spent a few years creating training films and pamphlets for the troops. One of Geisel's Army cartoons was a booklet aimed at preventing malaria outbreaks among GIs by urging them to use nets and keep covered up. In 1943, Germany blocked the Allies' supply of the anti-malaria drug quinine" (NPR). This was an emergency. Since American GIs were already being routinely felled by malaria, the government felt it was necessary to teach them both prevention and symptom recognition. For This Is Ann, the text was written by Seuss' fellow children's author, Munro Leaf, while Seuss took complete control of the illustrations—an unparalleled collaboration. Together, the pair created "blood-thirsty Ann," a silly Seussian character representing Anopheles, the genus of mosquito that transmits malaria. Ann "was part of an aggressive propaganda campaign that included… silly cartoons, racist characters, and scare tactics to warn soldiers of the dangers of malaria, especially in the Pacific. In the Pacific theater only one in eight American soldiers was hospitalized due to battle injuries while the remainder were felled with diseases like malaria, which thrived in the ruts, roads, and ditches created by the constructions of war. By mid-1944, the campaign against malaria had worked. Lower infection rates coincided with increasing victories in Asia and Europe" (Wingreen-Mason, Unbound, Smithsonian Library and Archives). Seuss and Leaf never worked together after the war, so their joint works are limited to This Is Ann, a few accompanying posters, and an animated series of film shorts called Private SNAFU produced by Warner Brothers and meant to teach GIs about wartime basics. Younger & Hirsch, 186-87.
A few tiny spots and slightest toning to wrappers. A very nearly fine copy.