Out of Print . . . and Back Again

Say, did you know that in his lifetime, two of Dr. Seuss’s books were taken out of print?

Yup. One was his famous “naked lady book,” the other was a songbook.

The Seven Lady Godivas (1939) was Seuss’s third book, and his debut title with Random House. It wasn’t a good start. The book ended up being quickly remaindered, and was eventually sold only through cigar shops. Written when Seuss was 35 years old, it would be brought back into print–“by multitudinous demand!”–in 1987, when Seuss was 83.

Meanwhile, The Cat in the Hat Songbook (1967) was filled with Seuss-written songs, scored for guitar and piano by Eugene Poddany, who also scored How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Seuss was really proud of the book–he loved writing songs–but parents didn’t want a book full of songs to sing; they wanted funny books to read. The book bombed on release, and Random House let it quietly die on the vine (it got better, and is back in print and widely available today).

Comments are closed.