Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Gerald McBoing Boing by Dr. Seuss
The art of picture books based on animated properties has a long and storied history within the oeuvre of children’s literature. We’ve eschewed doing much in the way of Seuss lately, but due to the fact that we’ve been doing multiple books where child or child-like characters are approached by members of the medical association, we felt we’d cap everything off with this tale of a boy doing his own thing in the early 50s. That’s BOUND to go over well! Along the way we talk about picture books in which kids don’t adhere to the norm and are therefore considered ill in some way (Imogene’s Antlers comes to mind), as well as teachers that call 2-year-olds in first grade classes “hopeless”, packing kids full of pills, and why Gerald needs to keep an eye on his own paychecks.
I made the choice to show Kate only the book and not, in fact, the animated short that the book is based upon. You’ll notice in this leads to a fair amount of confusion along the way. Fairly clear evidence then that this book was specifically made as a companion to the animation and not as a standalone entity. So let’s look here at its origins. Here’s the record (with quite the catchy little song):
And here’s the animated short itself:
Rock those shoes, lady. But also please tell me you take them off regularly.
I really wanted this to become a Bark, George moment where the doctor put on a latex glove and reached down Gerald’s throat.
The book is a bit of a failure when it comes to replicating the artistic style that made it such a hit, except in rare moments like this. This silhouette is beautifully rendered, but it’s the exception rather than the rule.
I had to watch the short to see if Kate was right about what three notes this guy plays on his xylophone. She was dead right about what he plays, by the way.
Kate Recommends: Bungee fitness at Pole Kisses
Betsy Recommends: The Blueberry Book Awards
Filed under: Fuse 8 n' Kate
About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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