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The man who gave the world "The Cat in the Hat," "Green Eggs and Ham" and "The Lorax" has a new treat for children.
Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known to lovers of rhyme and whimsy as Dr. Seuss, left behind a wealth of manuscripts and sketches when he died in 1991 at the age of 87, and "Dr. Seuss's Horse Museum" is his latest posthumous release from that treasure trove.
And it's a blend of classic Seuss and surprising fare.
"Ted thought of himself as a storyteller first and an illustrator second," retired Random House editor Cathy Goldsmith told TODAY.
That's a fitting fact to highlight, both because Geisel intended this tale to focus on the art of others — its pages serve as a gallery of horse art from greats, including Pablo Picasso, Wassily Kandinsky and Raphael — and because the final images, while based on Geisel's work, were penned by another illustrator.
Geisel's widow, Audrey, found the story and his original sketches in a closet 21 years after his death, and its Australian illustrator, Andrew Joyner, who completed the author's vision — in the same beloved style — for "Horse Museum."
"It just seems beyond remarkable to me that I had this opportunity," Joyner, who grew up reading Dr. Seuss, told TODAY.
But while Joyner's imagery looks familiar, it doesn't accompany the traditional Seussian rhyming style readers might expect. For this story, the author presented his words in a more straightforward style aimed at educating kids about art and the creative process.
"I think he felt a responsibility to help raise the next generation of American children," said Goldsmith, who worked alongside Geisel for 15 years. "He wanted to not only amuse and entertain them but educate them. I would say 'Horse Museum' fits the bill to the T."
However, despite the differences in verse, children will still get plenty of reminders of vintage Dr. Seuss as they turn the pages, thanks to cameos from the Grinch, Horton the Elephant and even the Cat in the Hat himself.
"Dr. Seuss's Horse Museum" is in bookstores now.
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