The Annotated Cat: Under the Hat of Seuss and His Cats share button
Philip Nel
Format Hardcover
Dimensions 10.31 (w) x 10.28 (h) x 0.88 (d)
Pages 192
Publisher Random House Children's Books
Publication Date 1/9/2007
ISBN 9780375833694
Book ISBN 10 0375833692
About Book
How did Dr. Seuss come to write The Cat in the Hat?

How long did it take him to write The Cat in the Hat and The Cat in the Hat Comes Back?

Were these books instantly successful, or did their popularity build?

The answers to these questions and more can be found in this fascinating illustrated study of two books that changed the way our children learn how to read.

According to Professor Nel, The Cat in the Hat and its sequel operate on many levels. The books teach reading, but they also teach about poetry, politics, ethics, comics, history, and even conartistry! Complete with the text of both books, photographs, draft material, and essays by Seuss, The Annotated Cat is like a DVD with all the extras. Cat lovers everywhere can gain a deeper understanding of two of the most popular children's books ever written, and the remarkable man behind them.


Publishers Weekly

CAT IN THE HAT TURNS 50! In celebration of 50 years of Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat, Random House is releasing a pair of books to commemorate the occasion (see Children's Bookshelf, January 11). The Annotated Cat: Under the Hats of Seuss and His Cats by Philip Nell begins with the catalyst for Seuss's project, the article "Why Can't Johnny Read" in a 1954 Life magazine article. He then offers a brief biography of Theodor Seuss Geisel, before launching into a page-by-page analysis of The Cat in the Hat. Nel's commentary may center on one book, but along the way he offers a broader context of children's book publishing and education in the 1950s. The paper-over-board The Cat in the Hat Party Edition by Dr. Seuss features a glistening metallic blue cover and an opportunity for readers to participate in a campaign for literacy with First Book, as well as Project 236 (so named for the 236 words in the text of Cat), which culminates with the national read-aloud day on March 2, sponsored by the NEA's Read Across America. (Random, $30 192p ages 10-up ISBN 978-0-375-83369-4; Party Ed. $8.99 72p ages 5-8 ISBN 978-0-394-80001-1; Jan.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Children's Literature - Denise Daley

Dr. Seuss is one of the most famous authors of children's books. The Cat in the Hat is considered by many to have revolutionized children's literature. Dr. Seuss himself was humbled by his success, and had even stated that studying his books was a "waste of time." This book, however, proves otherwise. The Cat in the Hat and The Cat in the Hat Comes Back are fully annotated and many of Seuss's original sketches are included. An in-depth analysis of Seuss' thought processes are provided in the biographical piece and in the added magazine stories that Seuss previously wrote. The Cat in the Hat was the result of a challenge for Seuss to write an educational book for early readers that the children would not be able to put down. As generations of children continue to embrace The Cat in the Hat, adult admirers of Seuss will equally embrace this book and may find it to be difficult to put down.

School Library Journal

Nel proves that it is fun to take Seuss's work seriously. In 1957, the baby boom peaked at 3.9 million births, coinciding with a boom in children's literature. That same year, The Cat in the Hat was first published, creating an innovative type of children's literature that brought humor and originality to young readers. From the number of digits in the Cat's fingers (varies from three, four, or five) to the changes in colors of the bow tie of the Cat (white to red), Nel chronicles the development of the stories of The Cat in the Hat and The Cat in the Hat Comes Back . The well-documented text includes original manuscripts, early sketches, and illustrations with detailed analysis and descriptions. This text is an excellent addition to any school or public library and is essential reading for all who work with youth, literacy, and literature.
—Rebecca SheridanCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews

Nel, author of Dr. Seuss: American Icon, delivers a meticulously researched and scrupulously attributed commentary on Seuss's revolutionary 1957 beginning reader, The Cat in the Hat, its sequel, The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, and three short published pieces. Nel's introduction uncovers publishing histories, reviews, translations, adaptations (as animated television cartoons, for example) and tributes to Seuss and his Cat (including parade floats, commemorative postage stamps and a memorial sculpture). Nel recounts details of the Cat's birth: Seuss, exhorted in print by John Hersey to supplant the boring primers of the day with books that made learning to read fun, accepted the challenge. Saddled with a stipulated word count (the first Cat has 236) and a confounding list of permitted words, Seuss's anticipated lark took a year and a half to complete. Nel's material most compels when providing both visual and literary proof of Seuss's creative process, documenting recurring motifs from his work in advertising and political cartooning and revealing cultural influences ranging from the Katzenjammer Kids (think Thing One and Thing Two) to the atomic bomb (on the cataclysmically cleansing Voom in the second Cat). The fact-packed verbiage-seeming at times a gaudy inverse to Seuss's musically spare texts-discusses everything from the debate as to whether the Little Cats in The Cat in the Hat Comes Back are fractals, to the probability, based on "an unscientific sample of shoe prices" in 1957, that Dad's $10 shoes "would have been moderately priced dress shoes." While the aftermatter is impressively rich, photos and other visual documents are captioned only in the introduction-bound to cause allbut the most casual reader to rue the lack of an index. The handsome, double-column layout of the annotations contrasts with the presentation of the Seuss texts, whose double spreads appear on right-hand pages, clipped slightly by the gutter. Revelatory, exhaustive and, occasionally, exhausting. (endnotes, bibliography, image credits, acknowledgements, author bio)