We last wrote about renowned Dr. Seuss scholar and collector Charles D. Cohen ’83 in an article in the Spring 2009 issue of Haverford magazine that featured some pretty fabulous photographs of his vast collection of “Seussiana.” Now Cohen, the author of The Seuss, The Whole Seuss and Nothing but the Seuss, a “visual biography” of the beloved children’s book writer and illustrator, has a new book coming out in September. The Bippolo Seed and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss collects seven rarely seen short works originally published in magazines in the 1950s and tracked down by the intrepid Cohen, who explains their significance in the book’s introduction.
Cohen’s publisher, Random House, is calling the book “The literary equivalent of buried treasure.” It’s already getting press attention from outlets as varied as NPR, the U.K’s The Guardian and celebrity news blogger Perez Hilton, and the audio version of the book, which comes out Sept. 27, features an extraordinary cast of movie star narrators, including Anjelica Huston, Neil Patrick Harris, Jason Lee, Joan Cusack, Edward Herrmann, William H. Macy and Peter Dinklage.
Cohen himself (who operates a dental practice when he’s not chasing down all things Seuss) recorded the 10-page introduction he wrote for the book, and the experience, he tells us in an email, brought to mind the time his parents had a family friend who was an actress come over during his junior year of high school and dissuade him from pursuing an acting career.
Writes Cohen: “On the bright side, when I finished doing my part of the project, the head of the studio asked me if I’d done this sort of thing before. I told him that I certainly liked talking and did a lot of it, but I’d never done any professional recording in a studio. He told me that I was actually really good at it and wanted to know if I’d give him my contact information because he’d like to use me for voice-over work in the future. I don’t really expect to ever hear from him again, but … who knows, maybe I can have more fun in another unrelated field in the future. That’s the best part of life for me—discovering new things and learning about them.”