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DR SEUSS' MIDNIGHT PAINTINGS AND OTHER INTERESTING FACTS

From the creator of The Cat In The Hat comes a far darker side to his talent, these are Dr Seuss' Midnight Paintings.

It may seem unfathomable that Dr Seuss could have a dark side too. Considering his children's books have sold over 600 million copies and have been translated into more than 20 languages, you'd think that's all he had time for.

But you couldn't be farther from the truth. Dr Seuss, born Theodor Seuss Geisel on 2 March 1904, had an illustrious career as an illustrator before focusing on his famous children's books. He illustrated for publications like LifeVanity Fair and Judge. He also created artwork for companies like Standard Oil, Ford Motor Company and NBC Radio Network. 

In 1931, he started writing kids books, a collection called Boners. (no, pervert, back then, a boner was someone who was clumsy or made stupid mistakes). The first one was titled The Pocket Book of Boners – an omnibus of schoolboy howlers and unconscious humour. It was a hit, especially with the US soldiers during World War I.

He published a handful of other children's books until World War II broke out, where he turned his attention to political cartoons, drawing over 400 in two years. These were highly critical of some figures and strongly supportive of others. In 1942 he started drawing posters for the US Treasury Department and the War Production Board, and became Captain and commanded the Army's Animation Department.

After the war, he rekindled his love of writing children's books, delivering us the titles most of us so fondly remember to this day. But, throughout his career, his unique style of illustrating transcended all of these themes. It is recognisable to anyone who has ever seen one of his books.

After succumbing to his battle with cancer on 24 September 1991, another series of illustrations were revealed. These were titled the Midnight Paintings and, while still recognisable as Dr Seuess, were darker and sometimes more sinister, but ultimately beautiful too. He was unequivocally a man of many layers.

Dr Seuss deserves all the recognition he has received and more. He influenced generations of children who have passed his legacy onto their own. He was honoured both during his life and after his death. Theodor Geisel was as magical as his creations, and his legacy will surely live on for many more generations to come.


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