New York: Random House, 1957. Item #00381
His Most Famous Book
First Edition, in the Rare First Issue Dust Jacket
SEUSS, Dr. (pseudonym of Theodor Seuss Geisel). The Cat in the Hat. [New York]: Random House, .
First edition, first issue. Octavo (8 15/16 x 6 3/8 inches; 227 x 163 mm.). , 61,  pp. Color illustrations throughout.
Original unglazed color pictorial boards. Color pictorial endpapers. A near fine copy, far better than is usually seen. In the rare original first issue color pictorial dust jacket, with the price “200/200” (i.e. $2.00) on the front flap and with no mention of the “Beginner Books” series on the rear panel. Jacket with the bare minimum of rubbing at folds.
Later editions/issues possessed glazed boards, and the original price of $2.00 was lowered to $1.95.
“Dr Seuss’s best-known picturebook epitomises the concept of instruction through delight. The Cat in the Hat was composed as a controlled vocabulary book with only 223 different words. Seuss created the book as a response to a 1954 article in Life magazine by John Hersey which speculated that the decline in children’s reading abilities in the United States was due to the dull basal readers used in school...and suggested that children’s writers, such as Seuss, might try to write a school primer. Seuss found the limited vocabulary a challenge and, after a period of frustration, simply chose the first two words that rhymed-‘cat’ and ‘hat’-from the list of approved words and created his most memorable character...The popularity of The Cat in the Hat led to the founding of the Beginner Book division of Random House in 1957 with Dr Seuss as president. The image of the Cat in the Hat became the logo for this controlled vocabulary series, which included the sequel The Cat in the Hat Comes Back (1958) as well as Green Eggs and Ham (1960). The Cat reappears in The Cat in the Hat Songbook (1967), The Cat’s Quizzer (1976) and I Can Read with My Eyes Shut (1978)” (The Cambridge Guide to Children’s Books in English).
Younger & Hirsch 7. Grolier 100 Children's Literature #95.