The Boy on Fairfield Street
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The Boy on Fairfield Street

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  259 ratings  ·  78 reviews
Award-winning author Kathleen Krull zeros in on the formative first 22 years of the life of Ted Geisel. This is the first picture book biography of Dr. Seuss, written especially for his young fans who want to know what made him tick. The animals in the zoo that his father ran and his fondness for drawing them, the injustices he suffered as the child of German immigrants, a...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published January 13th 2004 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2001)
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Lisa Vegan
Mar 25, 2013 Lisa Vegan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who’s enjoyed Dr. Seuss books; fans of picture book biographies &/or books about books
Recommended to Lisa by: Kathryn
4 ½ stars, ½ star off because of my personal vegan sensibilities about how animals should be treated. However, this is a beautiful book and it’s very well done, and I’m so delighted that this book exists, I have to give it a full 5 stars. (I initially gave it 4.)

Seuss’s books were among the first books I was able to read on my own, and I own several of his books, including some of the ones published most recently. I knew very little about the man though. I learned a lot about him from reading th...more

Excellent picture book biography of Ted Geisel (Dr Seuss). Lovely half-page illustrations depict important moments in his life, while on the other page tiny illustrations by Seuss himself appear below the story to mirror them. The story itself provides just enough information on Geisel's childhood and youth to show how he became "Dr Seuss" (this is probably what appeals most to children) while more more detailed back matter explains the rest of his career. Highly recommended to any fan...more
Stacey Mulholland
A great picture story biography about Dr. Seuss. I read it to my 5th grade class every year. The book helps you understand why Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel created the types of stories and characters that he did. One of my favorite aspects of the book is that each two-page spread has an illustration by Dr Seuss from one of his books that matches what the story is telling us about him.
The cover of The Boy on Fairfield Street states that it is the story of how Ted Geisel grew up to become Dr. Seuss. But that text may be missed by the very audience the book is intended for. For a writer whose illustrations are such a standout part of children's literature history the cover, and interior illustrations, of the book are a bit of a disappointment. There is nothing of Seuss’ colorful style to help bring the story of his life alive. This was perhaps a conscious decision by the publis...more
Mar 03, 2010 Marcia rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
This is a very nice picture book of the good doctor. It chronicles his life from growing up in Springfield to launching his writing career in NYC at age 22. Each page includes a small drawing that highlights how he drew upon his own life experience to create his characters. The children really enjoyed this book when we read it this week to celebrate his birthday. They were very sensitive to the injustice Ted Geisel suffered in his life--bullying, discriminated against for being German, and how h...more
Sep 05, 2010 Adam rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who do, and don't, have it all figured out! And, of course, Dr. Seuss fans!
In the few short pages of this wonderful children's biography of the author known as Dr. Seuss, I learned more about the man behind the magic then I have ever known!

Not only does Ms. Krull do an excellent job of chronicling the author's early life, but she does so in an inspirational way. The message is clear that one need not submit to authority or play by the rules to become a great success. Imagination and the conviction to follow ones dreams is as powerful a tool as any. A message that is il...more
Krull, Kathleen; Johnson, Steve and Fancher, Lou; The Boy on Fairfield Street: How Ted Geisel Grew Up to Become Dr.Seuss, Random House, 2004, biography, k – 5th, rate 5 lexile AD950L

This is a children’s book about Dr. Seuss and his childhood. It describes his joy for drawing, his love for the zoo, his school life and how he was treated, his struggles with Boy Scouts, up to his adventures in college.

I gave this book a 5 for the illustrations and how it’s written as a children’s book to read aloud...more
Brenna Call
Storybook biography of famous children’s author Dr. Seuss. This book chronicles Ted Geisel a.k.a Dr. Seuss’ life from young boyhood through early adulthood and how challenging life experience led him to become one of the world’s most beloved children’s author and illustrator. I enjoyed the information at the end of the book about Dr. Seuss’ career as an author and found the complete bibliography of his works very useful for those wishing to read more.
This was a delightful telling of how a boy became Dr. Seuss. It was uplifting and inspiring. The picture book incorporates Dr. Seuss characters relating to each page throughout the book. As well, there is a more complete history at the end of the story along with a list of books for further reading. I highly recommend! Great for in between ages because you can just read the picture book part or go on to the rest.
This is a book about Ted Geisel. It tells the first 22 years of his life. The book talks about everything from birth through adulthood. Including: activities, school, and college.

This is a great book for all ages. It is a great picture book for children in grades K-3rd. The book lets the children know about a great and famous author. It tells them about his life and how he became Dr. Seuss.

I learned facts about Dr. Seuss. One is that he saw himself as a misfit among peers, which was somewhat accurate, but not fatally so, obviously. Curious turns and twists in how he came to be a successful author. Book focuses on his childhood and adolescence. A picture book; illustrations good.
Love this one, subtitled "How Ted Geisel Grew Up to Become Dr. Seuss." A lot of fun background on things he got his inspiration from, how his career began, even where the "Dr." came from.

Shows that while many don't fit the mold some might expect, there is still greatness within.
I learned almost as much about Dr. Seuss and his life from this book, which I read to my class, as I did from his actual biography. Less mundane detail, in my opinion.
Memorable quotes:
"That's a very good flying cow."
Haydee Romero
The Boy on Fairfield Street is about Ted Geisel, also known as Dr. Suess, and how he grew up to be an amazing author. This is a good example of a biography written in a different format. The book starts off as” Once upon a time”. I want my students to now that writing can be creative. In a mini-lesson I would compare different biographies to demonstrate different writing styles. I want my students to be genuine writiers and not follow a given format. As a teacher, I want to provide a variety of...more
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book! Kathleen Krull takes the reader on a journey of how Ted Geisel grew into Dr. Seuss. This story had me completely engrossed! I found myself laughing out loud and very angry with how Ted was treated growing up. Students will be able to relate to this story even though Ted’s childhood took place in the early 1900s, because the issues Ted face are still current. Ted felt different, like an outcast, which students today still feel. I loved reading about the ear...more
Title: The Boy on Fairfield Street

Author: Kathleen Krull

Publication Date: January 2004


This book portrays the childhood of Ted Geisel and how his mother fostered his love of books. Growing up, Ted disliked sports and did not fit in well with others in his neighborhood. He began to draw and developed an interest in the newspaper comics. Despite an art teacher telling him he would never become a successful artist for breaking the rules, he eventually graduated high school to attend Dartm...more
Riley Mooney
Not a dull moment in this book about Ted Geisel aka Dr. Seuss! It amazes me that I knew very little about Dr. Seuss considering how much I enjoyed his books growing up. “The Boy on Fairfield Street” is short but is still very detailed, displays excellent illustrations, and is a fun read. I recommend having this book on your bookshelf, especially if you plan on reading a lot of books by Dr. Seuss. It is useful to know some background knowledge on the author you are reading about.
Jessica Jackson
Anyone who loves Dr. Seuss, like me, will definitely appreciate this book. I cannot recommend it enough. I believe that this book could very well turn a "non-Dr. Seuss fan" into an avid follower. The storyline follows the development of Ted Geisel, who would later use various pen names, including “Dr. Seuss.” By reading this book, every reader can experience Ted’s insecurities, thoughts, encounters with bullies, and inspirations for his stories. The illustrations are warm and colorful. While the...more
Hannah Jefferson
This was an excellent read with charming illustrations. I have always loved Dr. Seuss' work, and his biography is just as inspiring. This is a story of a boy who was told by his art teacher that he was doing everything wrong, whose parents felt doubtful that he would go to college. Yet he went on not only to be a popular cartoonist for Dartmouth's university newspaper, but to become a bestselling children's author.

This book begins with Seuss being a young boy still going by his given name of The...more
This book was a fun discovery because Kathleen Krull wrote the L. Frank Baum biography I enjoyed recently and the illustrators were responsible for the art in Seuss’s My Many Colored Days. This picture book focuses on Seuss’s early days until his early twenties. The notes in the back then proceeds to fill in the later years.
An enjoyable look at the suburban Springfield childhood of Dr Seuss and the many influences that shaped him and his books. Lovely illustrations (including from Seuss's own collection), a heartwarming story and enough contextual biographical information to get a good sense of the man.
Cynthia Peacock

Dr. Seuss is my utmost favorite author of children’s books. I love his creative use of non-sense words. This biography chronicles the early life of Ted Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. I believe primary children will really enjoy hearing about the childhood of an author they may be well familiar with and this might be a great way to introduce or reinforce the genre of biography. A fun lesson I would implement for primary school children would be to interview a classmate about what they did las...more
Delightful children's book about the life of Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss). Although the first part is written as a children's book, a more adult version of his professional life follows. The book is a treat for any fan of Dr. Seuss and his over-the-top stories!
A really great picture book for kids telling how Theodor Geisel became Dr. Seuss. An inspiring tale that teaches kids the value of finding your own gifts and talents in life and using them to make a difference. This book is also a really great tale of HARD WORK!
Judy Desetti
Biography of Ted Geisel. DR SEUSS.

Read this with third graders and it went great. I think this one is a winner to cover the biography of Theodor Seuss Geisel. Love this one for celebrating his birthday and Read Across America.

A highly readable and relatable look at Ted Geisel's (aka Dr. Seuss) childhood. He struggled with some of the same issues kids face today: bullies, trouble at school etc.

Each two page spread features a full page, color painting mirrored by a page of text with a Seuss illustration underneath. Often the Seuss image ties into the text and points to some of the inspiration behind Seuss's most well-known work.

Following the story is a four page spread on the author that gives more information about h...more
Theodore Geisel’s life story is given in the form of a children’s storybook. Starting from when he was a child in Springfield, Massachusetts, this biography takes an honest look at who Theodore Geisel was before he became the well-known children’s author and political activist Dr. Seuss. Theodore Geisel followed his heart and found a way to make a living by publishing silly, fantastical stories and illustrations that represented who he was as an individual and as a very opinionated political and...more
-presents account for Geisel's childhood, up until he moves to New York
-great illustration! Each page of text has a full size oil painting accompanying it. HIstorically accurate details and bright colors give readers a sense of the times. On textual pages, author includes small pictures of characters from Seuss books, which add excitement to those pages.
-focus on youth is interesting, however the parts of Geisel's life where his creativity really shines is summed up in only a few pages. This see...more
I don't know how I have not reviewed this before. This is one of my favorite picture book biographies. I love reading about Theodor Seuss Geisel's childhood (especially that he drew on the walls of his bedroom...and his mom let him!) and how he came to do what he love and what he was gifted at...drawing pictures of unusual animals and creatures and writing rhymind verses.

I reread this last week to my class, and they really enjoyed it. It was at least my 5th read of it. The illustrations of a yo...more
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