|Theodor Geisel is known and loved by millions by his pen name, Dr. Seuss. He used this name as he wanted to save Geisel for what he felt was his "true work"--his writing for adults. (Seuss is the author's middle name, the "Dr." a sarcastic salute to his never completed doctoral degree). Born in Springfield, Massachusetts, Seuss graduated from Dartmouth College and attended Oxford University in pursuit of a Ph.D. in English Literature. At Oxford he was encouraged by a fellow student, Helen Palmer, to drop out and pursue a career as a cartoonist. Seuss took this woman quite seriously, for not only did he follow her advice, he also married her. Back in the United States, Seuss worked as an illustrator while still attempting to write serious fiction and humor for adults. His first book for children, AND TO THINK THAT I SAW IT ON MULBERRY STREET was published in 1937. The success of this work prompted him to produce more picture books for children until the onset of World War II, during which he and his wife wrote and produced films in support of the Allies. Two of these films HITLER LIVES and DESIGN FOR DEATH won Academy Awards for best documentary features. After the war, he returned to writing for children and, in 1957, THE CAT IN THE HAT was published. This book changed the face of beginning reader books from the basic primer to a story that was exciting and fun and was illustrated with lively artwork. With the success of THE CAT IN THE HAT, Seuss was named the head of Beginning Books, a subsidiary of his publishing company, Random House. This allowed him to not only create such classic works as ONE FISH, TWO FISH, RED FISH, BLUE FISH but also to establish the careers of such authors as P. D. Eastman and Robert Lopshire. Several of his works have been adapted as animated films, most memorably the holiday classic, HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS. During his long career, Dr. Seuss garnered many awards, including two Caldecott Honors for MCELLIGOT'S POOL and BARTHOLOMEW AND THE OOBLECK. In 1980, he was honored with the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for his body of work. He received a Pulitzer Prize for his contributions to children's literature, and when he died in 1991, he was the world's best-selling author of children's books.
|James Stevenson is an author, cartoonist, and illustrator of picture books. He attended Yale University, after which he joined the U.S. Navy. He is widely regarded for his contributions as a cartoonist and editor at The New Yorker. Stevenson developed his first picture book--a collaboration with his 8-year-old son called IF I OWNED A CANDY FACTORY--in 1968. Since then, he has created such works as WE HATE RAIN! and THAT DREADFUL DAY, both of which feature his alter ego, Grandpa. This character entertains his grandchildren, Louie and Mary Ann, with incredible tales from his childhood. Stevenson has also illustrated the works of such authors as Jack Prelutsky and Charlotte Zolotow. James Stevenson was honored with the Christopher Award in 1987.