Book lovers, kids, and whimsy enthusiasts are rejoicing this week after the release of a new Dr. Seuss book was announced. A new book, titled “What Pet Should I Get?”, will be released by Random House Children’s Books on July 28 this year.
Dr. Seuss, whose real name was Theodor “Ted” Seuss Geisel, died in 1991. None of his books have been published since 1988’s “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”.
Geisel’s widow Audrey, and his longtime friend and secretary Claudia Prescott, uncovered a box full of text and sketches when they were cleaning out his office about two years ago. Among the pages was the full text and illustrations for “What Pet Should I Get?”.
“While undeniably special, it is not surprising to me that we found this because Ted always worked on multiple projects and started new things all the time — he was constantly writing and drawing and coming up with ideas for new stories,” Audrey Geisel said in a statement, according to USA Today.
The new title is one of three that Random House is publishing from the 2013 find. What’s even more interesting is that the announcement of “What Pet Should I Get?” comes just after a study found a correlation between kids’ reading habits and how likely they are to become frequent readers later in life.
The older kids get, the less likely they are to read on a daily basis. In fact, 53% of 9-year-olds read daily, but only 17% of 17-year-olds do. Furthermore, kids of parents who don’t read frequently aren’t likely to crack open too many books either.
The good news is that there is something parents can do to help increase the chances that their kids will become readers later on. As the New York Times reports, reading to kids can groom them to read more on their own later in life. The problem is that the average time parents spend reading to their children is actually dropping.
In 1999, children between the ages of two and seven were read to for an average of 45 minutes per day, a number that dropped to 30 for the same age group by 2013.
“In every story, Dr. Suess provides a lifelong gift to his reader,” says ‘Quest of the Keys’ author Scotty Sanders. “Through whimsy and fantastical characters, he ignites the imagination of young children and opens their minds to receive and retain simple but valuable life lessons.”
As more parents focus on reading to their kids aloud, a new Dr. Seuss book pretty much fits right in. Even for older kids, you’re going to be hard-pressed to find someone who isn’t a fan of Dr. Seuss.