Book review: Imagine That!: How Dr. Seuss Wrote The Cat in the Hat, by Judy Sierra, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes

Sierra, Judy. Imagine That!: How Dr. Seuss Wrote The Cat in the Hat. Ill. By Kevin Hawkes. Random House, 2017. $17.99. unp. ISBN 978-0-375-97429-8. Ages 6-9. P5Q7

Few people know that Theodor Geisel’s classic was written for curriculum with the requirement that the book use only a list of prescribed words; the total was only 236 words. After he finished The Cat in the Hat, he moved on to more early readers and Green Eggs and Ham, showing Bennett Cerf that he could write a book with only 50 different words.

Verdict: The artwork is 1950s Seuss style, and the narrative is a bit cutsy. Young readers will be more interested in Seuss’ books than how he wrote one to prove he could comply with curriculum requirements.

November 2017 review by Nel Ward.

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