This book, which the publishers describe as "chronological-ish," goes all the way back in Geisel's history, interspersing short blocks of texts with his beautiful illustrations. I know Dr. Seuss's kids books, but that's pretty much it; I didn't know about him.
For instance, Geisel got kicked off Dartmouth's humor magazine by sharing a pint of gin with ten friends during Prohibition. He kept submitting cartoons under different pseudonyms, including: Theo Seuss 2nd; Dr. Theophrastus Seuss; Dr. Theodophilus Seuss, Ph.D, I.Q., H2SO4. "And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street" was published in 1937, by Dr. Seuss.
He used to take parts of dead animals and made strange taxidermic pieces of his imaginary creatures:
He drew ads and political cartoons, joined the Army in 1942, then left cartooning to make war films. When he got back to illustration, he did it all: rough sketches, preliminary drawings, final line drawings, and finished work for every page in the books. He was involved with things every step of the way, not needing an entire agency. "Ted was from an era and a mind-set in which the artist lived or died by his own hand."
One of my favorite quotes about Geisel's work is from Karla Kuskin, critic and children's author: "His characters have two family characteristics: slightly batty, oval eyes and a smile you might find on the Mona Lisa after her first martini."
The book is fascinating to read, but more than anything I want to tear out all the illustrations and wallpaper my home with them.