Lou Fancher

A Book Review for Dr. Seuss’ Birthday!

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The Boy on Fairfield Street: How Ted Geisel Grew Up to Become Dr. Seuss 

Written by Kathleen Krull
Illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher
Decorative Illustrations by Dr. Seuss
Ages: 8+, 43 pages
January 13, 2004 by Random House Books for Young Readers 
Topics: Biography 

The Boy on Fairfield Street: How Ted Geisel Grew Up to Become Dr. Seuss chronicles his first twenty-two years that shaped him into a unique author. Theodor Seuss Geisel was born on March 2, 1904, in Springfield, Massachusetts.  Growing up, Ted loved reading, animals, drawing, and fun neighborhood activities. He even had first hand experience in a zoo, since his father became superintendent of parks. Ted also faced challenges. He was sometimes teased at school for having a German heritage. He often doodled in class and skipped classes in high school to watch movies. Ted attended Dartmouth College and was often known for being silly and nobody thought he could make a career from doodles. He wrote for a college magazine, but he was forced to resign. However, he still wrote for the magazine under the name Seuss, which was his mother’s maiden name and his middle name. After college, he traveled to England where he should have been studying literature at Oxford, instead he met his future wife who admired his drawings.  He returned home to Fairfield Street and sent his cartoons and illustrations to New York magazines. Finally, he received an acceptance letter from The Saturday Evening PostSoon more magazines desired Ted’s cartoons. He signed his work Dr. Theophrastus Seuss or Dr. Seuss, because he liked the sound of doctor and he wanted to save “Ted Geisel” for when he wrote his great success in the future. The Boy on Fairfield Street: How Ted Geisel Grew Up to Become Dr. Seuss provides additional information about Geisel’s life after he left Fairfield Street with background about his books.

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!