Dr. Seuss, U.S. Army

When I was a kid, I loved to rummage through a bunch of pamphlets that had belonged to my Uncle Teddy. I never knew my uncle because he went missing in action in the Pacific during World War II, so for me his memory was perpetuated mainly by these little U.S. Government booklets about getting along in China, North Africa, Iran, and other wartime hot spots. One of my favorites was “Meet Ann…She’s Dying to Meet You,” a 36-pager about the perils of contracting malaria from the Anopheles mosquito. The illustrations were cartoons, usually showing some poor sap (it’s easy to fall back into the slang of the era) getting bitten by Ann or failing to employ mosquito netting.

Fast forward a good many years to a Federal depository library conference featuring a talk on “Government Publications as Rare Books.” The presenter said, “This booklet goes for $600 and up” and flashed the cover of “Meet Ann” on the screen. Yikes! The cartoonist was Dr. Seuss when he was Captain Ted Geisel, U.S. Army, and this little pamphlet is one of his hardest to find publications. The author of the text was no slouch, either: Munro Leaf, author of “Ferdinand the Bull.” As soon as I got home, I put my little pamphlet in a safer place! My copy probably would be worth even more if I hadn’t “autographed” it on the back cover when I was about 10. Oh, well…

 If you’d like to take a peek at “Meet Ann” online, try this USDA site.

16 Responses to Dr. Seuss, U.S. Army

  1. kaytelynn says:

    dr. seuss is the best


  2. […] within previous blog posts including: Society through a Comic Lens, The Nuttall Tick Catalogue, Dr. Seuss, U.S. Army, Sprocket Man!, War Games, and Ponzimonium. You'll chuckle over the odd, quirky, ironic or […]


  3. Cecil T says:

    I need to to thank you for this very good read!!
    I certainly enjoyed every little bit of it.

    I’ve got you book-marked to check out new things you post…


  4. Xaray Nang says:

    like your blog. please post more educational articles about american writers.


    • GPOBookstore says:

      Thanks for your comments. Our blog only focuses on publications written and published by Federal Agencies. Hopefully, some of these dedicated Federal employees go on to become famous authors in their own right, like U.S. Army Captain Ted Geisel, aka “Dr. Seuss!”


  5. Earlene Alnas says:

    After study a couple of of the weblog posts in your website now, and I really like your manner of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website listing and will be checking back soon. Pls take a look at my web page as well and let me know what you think.


  6. […] I was in Baghdad” – A Short Guide to Iraq One of my first posts on this blog concerned a World War II booklet illustrated by Dr. Seuss. It was one of a cache of such booklets that had belonged to one of my uncles during his wartime […]


  7. […] “[I]t’s bookmark-worthy for history buffs and Beltway nerds who love old government posters, military history and military-commissioned Dr. Seuss drawings.” […]


  8. Patrick Skelly says:

    govbooktalk refers to Geisel here thus: “The cartoonist was Dr. Seuss when he was Private Ted Geisel, U.S. Army”. But he rose to higher achievements.

    Wikipedia, though sometimes exaggerated or flawed, refers to Geisel thus at :

    “As World War II began, Geisel turned to political cartoons, drawing over 400 in two years as editorial cartoonist for the left-wing New York City daily newspaper, PM. Geisel’s political cartoons, later published in Dr. Seuss Goes to War [I have a 1st edition], opposed the viciousness of Hitler and Mussolini and were highly critical of isolationists …
    “In 1942, Geisel turned his energies to direct support of the U.S. war effort. First, he worked drawing posters for the Treasury Department and the War Production Board. Then, in 1943, he joined the Army and was commander of the Animation Dept of the First Motion Picture Unit of the United States Army Air Forces, where he wrote films [including] the Private Snafu series of adult army training films. While in the Army, he was awarded the Legion of Merit.(citation needed)


    • govbooktalk says:

      Thanks for the additional information. My recollection from the talk I attended was that Mr. Geisel was a private when he wrote this. It took awhile, but I was able to discover here that he was commissioned as a captain in December 1942, so I have made the correction.


  9. Bill says:

    Great story! I’ve been telling my wife for years that my collection of old government publications is a hidden treasure.


  10. Karen says:

    WOW! What a great story. Thanks for this interesting blog! Looking forward to future posts.


  11. Michelle says:

    I just love that little story. Interesting I love memories. I am going to have a field day here reading. Thank you and God bless you.


  12. Trajan Rom says:

    Thanks to you Mr.Dr.Seuss for this funny, nice and very interesting personal story! Have a nice day and protect yourself from this loveley Ann: I met her in Africa…not easy!!!


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