RARE FIRST EDITION IN DUST JACKET OF THE CAT IN THE HAT, INSCRIBED BY SEUSS
SEUSS, Dr. The Cat in the Hat. New York: Random House, (1957). Octavo, original pictorial paper boards, pictorial endpapers, original dust jacket. Housed in custom half morocco clamshell box. $16,500.
First edition of this rare and important children’s classic, “a turning point… in the career of Dr. Seuss… [and] in the reading habits of American children,” inscribed by the acclaimed author-illustrator with his characteristic flourish, “for ANDY, Dr. Seuss.”
"A turning point, not only in the career of Dr. Seuss but in the reading habits of American children, occurred in the late 1950s. Inspired by a thoughtful article by John Hersey in Life magazine, entitled 'Why do Students Bog Down on the First R?,' Seuss began to address the problem, which has since entered the popular parlance as the why-Johnny-can't-read syndrome. Hersey's contention was that the schools were filled with 'pallid primers' such as Fun with Dick and Jane, featuring 'abnormally courteous, unnaturally clean boys and girls,' that real children found them uninspiring, and that many bookstores displayed more attractive alternatives, the 'jaunty juveniles' with 'strange and wonderful animals and children who behave naturally, i.e., sometimes misbehave.' Seuss' answer was The Cat in the Hat. By enhancing everyday situations with irresistible imaginary characters and telling the tales with cleverly rhymed, easily recognizable words, Seuss gave control of learning to read back to children, while providing wit, charm, comic verse, and a surprise on every page. The Cat in the Hat was so successful that Random House, publisher of all the Dr. Seuss books since 1937, created a special division, Beginner Books, with the Cat in the Hat as the logo and Dr. Seuss as president of the division" (Dr. Seuss from Then to Now, 45). "This extraordinary writer has done more to foster literacy in children than most because he manages to combine lunacy with sanity, fun with learning, and quality with exuberant readability" (Joseph Connolly). First edition, with 200/200 on the inside flap of dust jacket and all other first edition points. Younger & Hirsch 7.
Interior generally clean, slight toning to spine and light rubbing to joints and edges; light embrowning to edges of rear board. Bright dust jacket lightly rubbed with mild soiling to rear panel. A bright, exceptionally nice copy, elusive and desirable inscribed by Seuss.