A collection of Dr. Seuss stories that were published in Redbook Magazine during the early 1950s before the celebrated children's author was a household name will appear in book format for the first time in September, Publishers Weekly reports.
Seuss fans will be treated to the tale of a greedy duck named McKluck in the title story of "The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories," which consists of seven different stories published in 1950 and 1951. The text will be complimented by newly enhanced illustrations by the author -- whose real name was Ted Geisel -- and an introduction by Charles D. Cohen, a Seussian scholar and collector who discovered the lost tales while searching for memorabilia on eBay and other Web sites.
While searching for magazine covers Geisel had illustrated during the 1920s and early 1930s, Cohen came across the short stories. He said the sellers didn't seem to realize they had early Seuss stories on their hands, allowing him to buy the magazines at $3 to $5 a pop.
"These were not stories that were found in a drawer after his death," Cohen said. "They were good enough to be published in magazines and Ted drew from this pool of stories when he created the popular "Yertle the Turtle" and "The Sneetches" collections.
Cohen posted extra copies of the stories for sale on the Internet, where they were soon picked up by Cathy Goldsmith, the vice president and associated publishing director of Random House. Goldsmith, who has been at the publishing house since 1977, once served as art director for some of Geisel's last books, including "Hunches in Bunches" and "Oh, the Places You'll Go!"
"Ted had never mentioned that he wrote for magazines, but I took one look at the stories and the art and there was no question in my mind that they were genuine," she said.
Goldsmith said her biggest challenge was adding color to the nearly 60-year-old drawings. The illustrations accompanying the magazine articles were small and only ran in one or two colors, she said, leading Random House to blow up the drawings with their original black line art and then fill them in.
Cohen said the stories -- some of 30 written during Geisel's "magazine period" -- marked a period of his career when he was transitioning from a small-time writer to the eponymous Dr. Seuss.
"He started writing with the rhythm and rhyme for which he's now known, and it tickles me to see the way that style and his expertise develop in this story collection," he said.
More than 500 million Dr. Seuss books have been sold worldwide, according to the official Dr. Seuss Web site. Geisel wrote and illustrated 44 books under the pen name Dr. Seuss and also composed additional children's stories under the pseudonym Theo LeSieg.
Geisel's birthday, March 2, has been adopted as the annual date for National Read Across America Day, an initiative by the National Education Association that promotes literacy.