This past summer has been full of great new book releases, but only a couple of iconic book releases made a huge impact in the literary world, such as Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman, which stayed on the bestseller list for several weeks. Lee’s sequel soared as a bestseller due to the nostalgic excitement it evoked but now faces some steep competition with a children’s book. Having hit the shelves on July 28, 2015, two weeks after Go Set a Watchmen, the never-before-published picture book What Pet Should I Get by legendary icon Dr. Seuss has quickly become a major seller in the past month.
The book was written several years prior to Seuss’s death in 1991. While his wife and secretary were cleaning out his office, they discovered the partly unfinished manuscript in his desk. Initially, they decided to do nothing with them; however the pages resurfaced in 2013 and were prepared for publishing through Random House.
What Pet Should I Get tells of two children who can’t quite decide what pet to pick out in the store, as all of them are too precious to leave behind. It ends with a cliffhanger and rather abruptly, as the children walk off with an unknown animal. The book appears to be a “finished work,” but if you flip to the back of the picture book, the publishers explain that much of the book is missing.
The work is considerably shorter than most of his books, and it seems like he wanted to add more to the pages. Several sections of the book were found with edits, and it was unclear for some which were the most updated. Even the illustrations were unfinished. Most of the color scheme emulates the color scheme of his older book One Fish Two Fish Redfish Blue Fish, which contains very similar characters designs.
Despite this, I can see why publishers wanted to share it with the public. What Pet Should I Get gives fans a great insight into the mind and the writing process of Dr. Seuss. The author hasn’t produced a book in over 20 years since his passing, yet he remains one of the most influential authors in history. If someone were to find one of his works, finished or otherwise, people would surely want to read it, as with What Pet Should I Get. To further excite things, his wife and secretary also found one more manuscript that will be released in the near future. For now, pick up a copy of What Pet Should I Get, and bask in your childhood nostalgia.