The new book is all about making up one's mind, and features the same brother and sister characters seen in One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.
This never-ever-before-seen picture book by Dr. Seuss about making up one's mind is the literary equivalent of buried treasure! What happens when a brother and sister visit a pet store to pick a pet? Naturally, they can't choose just one! The tale captures a classic childhood moment—choosing a pet—and uses it to illuminate a life lesson: that it is hard to make up your mind, but sometimes you just have to do it!
The full text and illustrations for What Pet Should I Get? were found in the late author's home in 2013.
A box filled with pages of text and sketches was found shortly after Ted's death in 1991 when his widow Audrey Geisel was remodeling her home. At that time it was set aside with other of Ted's materials. It was rediscovered in the fall of 2013 by Mrs. Geisel and Claudia Prescott—Ted Geisel's longtime secretary and friend—when they were cleaning out his office space. They reviewed the materials, finding the full text and illustrations for WHAT PET SHOULD I GET? among other work. ...
The text and illustrations for WHAT PET SHOULD I GET? were found nearly complete. Geisel traditionally completed his black-and-white line art illustrations first, with color to be filled in later.
Cathy Goldsmith, Seuss's former art director, believes the original manuscript was written and illustrated between 1958 and 1962.
"We believe that he wrote and illustrated What Pet Should I Get? somewhere between 1958 and 1962—as the brother and sister in the book are the same as those in his bestselling Beginner Book One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish which was published in 1960," says Goldsmith.
Seuss's publisher, Penguin Random House, provided BuzzFeed with an exclusive look at some of the new book's original and final interior art:
Here's the same spread as it appears in the book:
This original spread really drives the point of the book home: What Pet Should I Get? is less about picking a pet and more about learning how to make decisions.
The same spread after colorization:
Goldsmith also told BuzzFeed her thoughts on the new book:
Dr. Seuss's brilliance as a children's author and illustrator is evident in many ways, but perhaps one of his greatest qualities was his ability to write a story that was seemingly about one thing — while at the same time, having a larger message, relevant to all ages. With WHAT PET SHOULD I GET?, a reader may think it is simply about choosing a pet, but it's also about learning how to make up your mind – and how it's a hard thing to do sometimes. Certainly something we can all relate to.