Skip to content

Where did Dr. Seuss get the idea for The Cat in the Hat?

January 23, 2012

Thanks to The Atlantic for publishing this great article about the unexpected inspirations behind many classic children’s books. It’s all here, from J.K. Rowling’s fateful train ride to Dr. Seuss’s attempt to improve on the Dick and Jane books. Or how about this one? Where the Wild Things Are was originally called Where the Wild Horses Are.

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Inspiration: Scary relatives, an inability to draw horses

Fun fact: Where the Wild Things Are was originally going to be called Where the Wild Horses Are. The only problem was that as it transpired, Maurice Sendak couldn’t draw a convincing horse to save his life. In the end, his despairing editor changed the title on the faith that if Sendak couldn’t do horses, he could “at the very least draw ‘a thing.’” The “things” he drew ended up being caricatures of the “hideous” family members who’d visit the young Sendak’s house on a Sunday afternoon. “I drew my relatives,” he admitted to the Los Angeles Times in 1993. “They’re all dead now, so I can tell people.”

Wouldn’t it be great if our shortcomings turned into our greatest successes? Maybe we’ve been approaching things backwards.
Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: