Cover image for What pet should I get?
What pet should I get?
What pet should I get?
First edition.
Publisher Info:
New York : Random House, [2015]
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 29 cm
A boy wants all of the pets in a pet store but he and his sister can choose only one. End notes discuss Dr. Seuss's pets, his creative process, and the discovery of the manuscript and illustrations for "What Pet Should I Get?"


Call Number
Material Type
E SEU New or Popular Picture Book

On Order



A never-before-seen picture book by Dr. Seuss!
This never-ever-before-seen picture book by Dr. Seuss about making up one's mind is the literary equivalent of buried treasure! What happens when a brother and sister visit a pet store to pick a pet? Naturally, they can't choose just one! The tale captures a classic childhood moment--choosing a pet--and uses it to illuminate a life lesson: that it is hard to make up your mind, but sometimes you just have to do it!
Told in Dr. Seuss's signature rhyming style, this is a must-have for Seuss fans and book collectors, and a perfect choice for the holidays, birthdays, and happy occasions of all kinds.
An Editor's Note at the end discusses Dr. Seuss's pets, his creative process, and the discovery of the manuscript and illustrations for What Pet Should I Get?

Author Notes

Theodor Seuss Geisel was born in Springfield, Massachusetts on March 2, 1904. He wrote and illustrated more than 45 picture books under the pseudonym Dr. Seuss. His first picture book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, was published in 1937. His other books included The Cat in the Hat, The Butter-Battle Book, The Lorax, The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories, Fox in Socks: Dr. Seuss's Book of Tongue Tanglers, What Pet Should I Get?, and Oh, the Places You'll Go. In 1984, he received a Pulitzer Prize for his contributions to children's literature. He died of oral cancer on September 24, 1991 at the age of 87.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-More than 20 years after Theodor Geisel's death, a newly unearthed Dr. Seuss book hits the shelves. Discovered in 2013 by Geisel's widow and his assistant, the completed manuscript and accompanying sketches were found in a box containing some of the legendary picture book creator's doodles and notes. Written sometime in the late 1950s or early 1960s, the tale very much reflects the culture of its time: two white siblings go to a pet store and struggle to answer the titular question. The children encounter a menagerie of real and fantastically Seussical animals. The pair bound exuberantly through each spread as they debate the merits of each creature. The rhyme scheme bounces along merrily for the most part, with the exception of a verse concerning a "yent" in a "tent," where the pattern shifts awkwardly, though it picks up steam again with the next page turn. While there is no visual adult presence in this book, readers learn that "Dad said we could have one./Dad said he would pay" and that Mother would not like a "thing on a string" that "would bump, bump into the wall!" A repeated spread depicts four potential pets holding up a banner that reads, "MAKE UP YOUR MIND." There's an ambiguous ending, and readers are left to wonder what pet the siblings finally bring home. Though the discovered manuscript included only black-and-white sketches, this finished work features the deep aqua, sunshine yellow, and vibrant red that were hallmarks of Seuss illustrations of the time period. Random House's Cathy Goldsmith, who was the designer and art director for many of Geisel's titles, worked to capture just the right palette; the good doctor would have been pleased. A note from the publisher reveals a bit of the anxiety associated with publishing a text written more than 50 years ago, "when it was common for people to simply buy dogs, cats, and other animals at pet stores. Today animal advocates encourage us to adopt.." Additional back matter includes anecdotes about a young Ted Geisel and his love of dogs, candid photos, and the story behind the discovery of this volume. VERDICT More nostalgia-inducing than groundbreaking, this picture book offers Seuss fans many familiar touchstones: jaunty rhymes, nonsense words, and the signature artwork beloved by generations of new and emerging readers.-Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

This early Dr. Seuss work, which was found after his death in 1991 and re-discovered in 2013, stars the brother and sister from One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. An extensive, informative afterword from the publisher says that Seuss often recycled story elements, and this book may have led to One Fish. Here, the narrator and his sister, Kay, have a real-world problem. They're at a pet store, and their father says they can take home only one animal: "The cat?/ Or the dog?/ The kitten?/ The pup?/ Oh, boy!/ It is something/ to make a mind up." Their imaginations soon wander in typical Seussian directions: "If we had a big tent,/ then we would be able/ to take home a yent!" (A spread shows the siblings gazing fondly out of the window at a giant, tiger-striped creature crouched under a canopy of cloth and cables.) Seuss's drawings offer plenty of offbeat surrealism (four exasperated beasts bear banners that read Make Up Your Mind), but the book also takes a sympathetic view of childhood indecision-with an appropriately indecisive ending. Ages 3-7. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

Out of a (probably magical) box stashed in his (probably gadget-filled) office comes this posthumous offering from the mighty Mr. Geisel. Sharp-eyed readers will note the brother and sister pet hunting here are the same duo seen in One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (1960). This story is more plot-driven, with the kids eager to choose a pet, but they must do it by noon and only pick one. At first, the choice looks simple: a dog or a cat, right? But parrots are nice, and so are rabbits. And what about fish? When the children start thinking about a new kind of pet (one with stiltlike legs and a bush of red hair), it seems likely they will leave empty-handed. But the good doctor offers a perfect ending: the children exit with a cardboard box, only the pet's eyes visible. Readers can choose! The amusing, mostly rhyming text doesn't scan as well as Dr. Seuss' best, and the full-color art sometimes feels minimal, but there remain plenty of pleasing moments. An eight-page author's note discusses the story's origins and reminds kids that it's better to rescue a pet than get one at a shop. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: New books by beloved authors, dead or alive, get attention. For adults, the most fascinating aspect will be the author's note: how many decisions need to be made to get a 55-year-old manuscript ready for publication!--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2015 Booklist