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My Many Colored Days Hardcover – August 20, 1996

4.6 out of 5 stars 194 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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many a late author, from Margaret Wise Brown (Four Fur Feet) to Sylvia Plath (The It-Doesn't-Matter Suit), often yield unpublished manuscripts.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.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Lexile Measure: AD190L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; 1st edition (August 20, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679875972
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679875970
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.4 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (194 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,253 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is very different from other Dr. Seuss books. First, the whimsical rhymes and made-up words which characterize Seuss in such classics as One Fish, Two Fish..., and The Lorax are absent here. Instead there is a simple elegance in couplets which brings colors and images together with emotions and moods. Second, the playful cartoon-style illustrations of more light-hearted classics are replaced by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher's more abstract paintings. These paintings cover the whole page with deep colors, drenched in emotion. Between the wonderful images suggested by the couplets and the engaging art (not illustration!) this book brings home a message to kids of all ages about the acceptability of their moods and emotions.
My daughters' reaction to this book has been tremendous. My older daughter (4 y.o.) wants to linger on each page to examine the art while my younger daughter (10 mos.) tries to feel the texture of the paint. I can see their faces reacting to the feelings suggested by each color and rhyme. We don't have many children's books that are 'illustrated' in a manner as poignant as this book (but we have an extensive library which most of the classics). Yet despite the 'message' it is never preachy - just a matter-of-fact statement that we all have emotions and they are all OK. Seuss provides the images as a frame of reference to help kids understand and explain them, which is especially helpful for little ones who haven't yet developed the vocabulary and reasoning to figure it out for themselves.
The best benefit is not necessarily even for kids to understand themselves, but to help kids understand grow-ups' moods - why mommy is tired after a long day at work, or why daddy is frustrated when he burns dinner, etc. I can just tell my daughters that I am in a 'grey' mood for a while, and all becomes crystal clear!
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Format: Hardcover
Early in his career, Dr. Seuss wrote many books as Theo. LeSieg (the last name being his own name of Geisel in reverse) that were illustrated by others. In 1973, he wrote the rhymes for this book, but wanted someone else to illustrate it. After his death, his wife brought the book to his publisher's attention. Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher have created a book filled with stunning paintings and fascinating typography to bring Dr. Seuss's range of daily moods and emotions alive. Using this story, people can communicate these feelings more vividly and accurately to one another.
The book is obviously inspired by the common sentence you've heard many times, "I'm feeling blue today."
"Some days are yellow.
Some are blue.
On different days
I'm different too."
"You'd be
how many ways
I change on Different
Most colors are also associated with an animal. Red is a horse kicking up its heels. Brown is a bear, "slow and low." On a yellow day, "I am a busy, buzzy bee." On a green day, he's a "cool and quiet fish." On a happy pink day, he's a flamingo! On black days, he becomes a howling wolf. He even has mixed-up days, when he is several colors at once (disguised as a cut-out cookie of a person).
He's reassuring, as always, in the end.
"But it all turns out all right,
you see.
And I go back to being me."
The paintings in the book are remarkable for the simple, fundamental images they represent . . . both building on and adding to our mental archetypes. They also use color and shape well to create a mood over two colorful pages.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
My in-laws got me this book shortly after I married my husband. They knew that I collect children's books and thought that I would like to have this one for my collection. They were right! I love it and it quickly grew to one of my all time favorites. The pictures are so wonderful and bright. I love the meaning behind the text that all days are different and some days are good and some days are lousy. On those lousy days, it is a great pick-me-up even for adults. Children love this book and will read it over and over again. Please get this book for anyone you know.
Note to teachers: This is a fantastic book to discuss emotions and feelings. I teach kindergarten and we do a lot of discussion about emotions and feelings and how to handle them. This book is a great way to begin that type of discussion. Also, it is great when working with color words because a different color day is on each page. I usually incorporate both into the same week.
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Format: Board book
We got this book when our now 5 month old son was newly born and I believe I'm more taken with it at this point than he. Though he enjoys it immensely, at this point he seems to get a bigger kick out of Seuss' "Hop on Pop" and "Green Eggs and Ham," as well as a wonderful book titled "Down by the Cool of the Pool," by Tony Mitton.
With Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher's wonderfully artistic illustrations this book is set apart from traditional Seuss books. That's not a bad thing either. The illustrations are nearly perfect artistic creations to match Seuss' particular mood he is trying to convey with the message that you will be a different type person sometimes depending on the day and mood. The colors are bright and intriguing reminding me of a mix between Marc Chagall and Keith Haring. My favorite is the description of purple days, "On Purple Days I'm sad. I groan. I drag my tail. I walk alone." There is a small forlorn purple brontosaurus in the upper right hand corner on a field of white. Across the picture is a purple trail forlornly painted by the forlorn dragged tail with streaks that emphasize the mood. Beautiful and poignant.
What's even better, especially when my son hones his language skills, is the message the book carries. It's OK to experience different emotions...just because you feel a certain way at times doesn't mean it's permanent. Like happiness and sorrow together, this too shall pass, "Then comes a mixed-up day and wham! I don't know who or what I am? But it all turns out all right you see. And I go back to being...me."
The illustrations as well as the font and text layout all go to bolster the wonderful message of this book...a book for all ages, all colored days and all times.
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