Hi, Cathy Goldsmith! Thank you for dropping by to chat with me about your work as vice president and associate publishing director of Random House Children’s Books. I always enjoy when you appear in a video about Dr. Seuss.
Congratulations on the publication of Dr. Seuss’s latest book, Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories. Please tell us three things about it.
Cathy Goldsmith: First, the book contains four stories which appeared in Redbook magazine in the early 1950s. Second, the stories feature characters and places that readers will recognize from other Dr. Seuss books. One story stars the Horton the Elephant, who readers will know from HORTON HATCHES THE EGG and HORTON HEARS A WHO. Another takes place on Mulberry Street, which is obviously the setting for AND TO THINK THAT I SAW IT ON MULBERRY STREET. And the final story has a grinch in it, not “the Grinch” we know from HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS but an earlier character who has many of the same traits as the Grinch. Third, we were able to retrieve the original black line art for the stories from the Mandeville Collection at the University of California, San Diego, where Dr. Seuss’s archives are housed. This permitted us to show artwork in the book which, for space reasons, was not able to be used in the magazine.
My K-5 students regularly request and check out Dr. Seuss’s books. Why do you think his books have stood the test of time?
Dr. Seuss’s books are great reads, both for children and their adults. The stories are fun and funny without ever being mean. The books are fun to share with others, young and old. And when they have a message, it isn’t heavy-handed.
I know you’ve worked on Babymouse, Squish, Junie B. Jones, and The Magic Tree House. What can you tell us about some of your current or forthcoming projects?
For the past few months, we have been working on giving all the Junie B. Jones books a fresh new look. Readers will see these new covers in the market in May 2015. My other current favorite project is FOX IN SOCKS AND SOCKS IN BOX. This package contains a board book version of FOX IN SOCKS and a pair of toddler-sized socks with a Fox in Socks design. Not only is the title of this package fun to say, but this is the first time I’ve ever designed a pair of socks. I once worked on a Junie B. Jones tee shirt, but never a pair of socks before.
Please finish these sentence starters:
Picture books are a very important part of a child’s development. Hopefully, they will represent the beginning of a life-long involvement with books and reading.
Reading is one of my favorite pass times. I loved it as a child, and I love it as an adult.
Mr. Schu, you should have asked me what my next Dr. Seuss project will be. And I would have said that you’ll just have to wait and see.
Thank you, Cathy!