I grew up on the likes of Dr. Seuss, Robert Lopshire and P.D. Eastman. So, naturally, when I started Respite Care on Saturdays for a Kindergartener with nursing needs, I took along some of my daughter’s old books. My favorite of all is “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish”, by the ever-fabulous Dr. Seuss. So, again naturally, I expected my little guy would feel the same. Sadly, no. His choice is “Are You My Mother?” by P.D. Eastman. An emotionally wrenching tale (if you’re a little one) of a baby bird who cracks out of his egg to discover no mother and sets off in search of her. He finds several creatures that are not his mother until, at last, he finds her. And if the truth be told, it is an equally wonderful book.
My Little Guy is a sweet, energetic, loves-to-be-helpful, 5 ½ year-old going on 3. He likes eating berries, climbing on counters, squeezing mayonnaise onto his plate (not eating it with anything mind you, just squeezing it), brushing teeth (needed or not), taking walks, looking at my ears through my stethoscope, watching Bubble Guppies on Nick Jr. and wearing costumes (two or three at the same time, think Iron Man on the bottom and Spider Man on the top). His favorite words are, “I help” and “What!?!”.
There are so many quality children’s books on the market today that it is easy to overlook the oldies and goodies. If it weren’t for “Dr. Seuss day” in the Elementary Schools, it may just be as easy to overlook “The Cat in the Hat” himself. If Theodor Seuss Geisel is remembered, Philip Dey Eastman should be remembered also.
|Theodor Seuss Geisel
(his middle name is Bavarian and is properly pronounced Zoice, but he accepted the Americanized pronunciation as it was widely used and rhymed with Mother Goose)
|Phillip Dey Eastman|
|Carrier Choices||author, political cartoonist, poet, animator, book publisher, and artist
He started with adult magazines, cartooning and illustrating (Life, Liberty, Judge and Vanity Fair to name a few).
|screenwriter, children’s author, and illustrator
He started with Walt Disney Productions as an assistant animator, story-sketcher, and production designer.
|Army Service||Wrote pro-Roosevelt political cartoons, drew posters for the Treasury Department and the War Production Board. In1943, he joined the Army and was commander of the Animation Department of the First Motion Picture Unit of the United States Army Air Forces, and wrote ﬁlms||Drafted in 1942, assigned to the Signal Corps Film Unit, under the command of Theodor Geisel. They not only became colleagues, he was considered Geisel’s protégée.|
|Number of books, first book||60, “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” was his first||14 (illustrated 13 of them), illustrated only, 4, “Sam and the Firefly” was his first (“Are You My Mother” is one of his two most popular books)|
|Pen names||Dr. Seuss, Theo Lesieg||P. D. Eastman|
|Outlook of others||At first was negatively critical of Japanese Americans, then, after the war had a change of heart and used “Horton hears a Who” as an allegory for Hiroshima and the American post-war occupation of Japan. He dedicated the book to a Japanese friend.||Member of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Audubon Society|
|Children||None, he said “you have ‘em, I’ll entertain ‘em.”||Two sons. Alan Eastman and Peter Anthony Eastman|
Phillip Dey Eastman may not be as well known as Theodor Seuss Geisel, but for anyone who has ever heard or read “Are You My Mother?”, “A Fish out of Water”, or “Go, Dog, Go”, he is just as well loved. This includes My Little Guy and me.
Who was your favorite author and what was your favorite book as you were growing up?
Thanks for reading.