In 2011, Random House published The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories, a collection of short stories by Dr. Seuss which originally appeared in magazines in the 1950s. These lost stories were the first new Seuss since the publication of 1998’s Hooray for Diffendoofer Day. In 2014, a new collection of stories appeared as Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories.
This new collection features four stories that were originally published in Redbook. While these stories might be new to readers, they’re also quite familiar. Each story in the collection has a link to a well-known Seuss tale.
In the first story, the lovable, loyal Horton the Elephant meets a small bug who needs his help. Horton, well known from Horton Hears a Who! and Horton Hatches the Egg, is happy to oblige. The two set off on a journey together, but the little Kwuggerbug has a trick or two up his sleeve.
The next two stories connect to 1937’s And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street. In “Marco Comes Late,” the exaggerating boy from Mulberry Street strolls into school at eleven o’clock. He has a wild tale to explain his tardiness, but Ms. Block, his teacher, is skeptical. This story has a similar structure to Mulberry Street, with Marco making up an outlandish tale, but telling the truth in the end.
Brave Officer Pat is patrolling Mulberry Street in “How Officer Pat Saved the Whole Town.” He sees danger approaching and quickly imagines the worst—a chain reaction of trouble that would come from a circling gnat biting Thomas the cat. Luckily, Officer Pat is on the case and stops that gnat in his tracks.
The last story in the collection is quite short—only two pages—and it features a Grinch. It’s not the Christmas-hating Grinch from How the Grinch Stole Christmas, but this Grinch definitely has a similar temperament. He’s tricky and sly, and before “The Hoobub and the Grinch” comes to a close he has swindled the Hoobub out of 98 cents.
These stories will be new to most readers, but they slide easily into the familiar Seuss canon. Don’t miss it.
Review by Kate Sweeney
Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss; Random House; c2014