The words and illustrations of Dr. Seuss have alway seemed inseparable--a peerless fusion of verbal and visual wit. Yet when the good doctor wrote the manuscript for My Many Colored Days in 1973, he specified that the book should be illustrated by "a great color artist who will not be dominated by me." Twenty-three years later, he has gotten his wish. Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher have produced a series of rich, painterly images that could never be mistaken for faux-Seuss. They have, however, caught something of his simplicity, and just as important, his sense of whimsy.
From Publishers Weekly
The archives of many a late author, from Margaret Wise Brown (Four Fur Feet) to Sylvia Plath (The It-Doesn't-Matter Suit), often yield unpublished manuscripts. Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, is no exception: he wrote but did not illustrate this rhyme, which assigns colors to moods. The effort is pleasant but lightweight: "You'd be/ surprised/ how many ways/ I change/ on Different/ Colored/ Days," announces a child, portrayed as a flat, gingerbread-man shape of yellow, then blue, then purple. Spread by spread, the character metamorphoses into animals of varying hues, from an energetic red horse to a secretive green fish to a droopy violet brontosaur ("On Purple Days/ I'm sad./ I groan./ I drag my tail./ I walk alone"). Husband and wife Johnson and Fancher (Cat, You Better Come Home) do not mime the author's pen-and-ink creations but work in pasty, expressionistic brushstrokes and blocky typefaces that change with the narrative tone. The characteristically catchy Seussian rhyme could help turn a Gray Day into a "busy, buzzy" (Yellow) one, and the snazzy die-cut jacket gives this volume an immediate lift above the competition. But the pointed message of Oh, the Places You'll Go! and the genius of Seuss's early work go missing. Ages 3-8.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.