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The Boy on Fairfield Street

4.18  ·  Rating Details  ·  407 Ratings  ·  105 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 it was amazing  ·  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 stars, 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 this

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
Jul 05, 2011 Wanett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Title: The Boy on Fairfield Street: How Ted Geisel Grew Up to Become Dr. Suess by Kathleen Krull and illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Eancher (and illustrations by Dr. Suess).

Krull, Kathleen. (2004). The Boy on Fairfield Street: How Ted Geisel Grew Up to Become Dr. Suess.
New York, New York.: Dragonfly Books.

Annotation: This book tells the story of Ted Geisel, a boy who grew up on Fairfield Street. As a boy, he loved animals and he loved to draw, however his mother really wa
Sep 05, 2010 Adam rated it really liked it  ·  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
Eileen Carter
Who doesn't love Ted Geisel? What, you don't know who that is? Well maybe you know him as his pen names...Dr. Seuss or Theo LeSieg.

The Boy on Fairfield Street is an incredible story which tells the life of Ted Geisel and his incredible journey to becoming a world known author of children books. Dr. Seuss is so well known that is rare that someone has not heard of him or one of his many books. Children love his stories, Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat; and why shouldn't they. These stories
Angela Galvin
Mar 21, 2015 Angela Galvin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Boy on Fairfield Street by Kathleen Krull is a story about Ted Geisel also known as Dr. Seuss. The book’s focus is on Ted’s childhood. Ted Geisel loved exotic zoo animals and had a desire for drawing pictures and making people laugh. The story begins with the joyous childhood memories with Ted’s family. Ted grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts. He was blocks from the zoo and three blocks from the library. Ted grew up loving books and animals. As great as Ted’s childhood was, he had suffered ...more
Mar 16, 2014 Jill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Perssis Namour
Mar 26, 2016 Perssis Namour rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this book to the younger children in library. The Kinder class really enjoyed listening to the history of Theodore S. Geisel. There is something about being young and thirsty for more knowledge. Read this to the prek3 and prek4 and again they were quiet as the story unfolded about the young Teddy. The Prek4 paid close attention to the pictures and found similarities to other Dr. Seuss stories. The 2nd and 4th graders really enjoyed learning that Ted went to college and sadly didn't fit in. ...more
Crystal MacNamee
The Boy on Fairfield Street
by Kathleen Krull/illustrators Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher with original illustrations by Dr. Seuss
(Charlotte Award, 2006)
Published in 2001

This is the story all about Seuss. It covers his life story from when he was a little boy, known as Ted, to when he started his legacy as a children's book author and illustrator. As a little boy he used to play by himself often with toy soldiers and other small figures, spinning stories for them in funny ways. He also us
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.
May 04, 2015 Dolly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This book was featured as one of the selections for the March 2015 Dr. Seuss reads for the Picture-Book Club in the Children's Books Group here at Goodreads.
Alayna Pope
Mar 31, 2016 Alayna Pope rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-lit
I really enjoyed this book! It's neat to read about Dr. Seuss. I always enjoyed reading his books when I was younger, and I still do. I think it's important for students to get to know the authors of their favorite books. This biography is very well written, with a lot of information! It's cool to hear his story and learn from it. A message from his story could be that not everyone is the same. Some people are different and that's okay! We can all create different things and we have our differen ...more
Mrs. Tongate
Great secondary read-aloud for Read Across America, March 2.

Theodor Seuss Geisel was born on March 2, 1904 in Springfield, MA. As a young boy, he drew on his bedroom walls with his crayons. His Mom didn't mind. He took 1 art class in high school. One day his art teacher warned him that he would never be successful at art, and he quit the class. Seuss was his Mom's maiden name.

Dr. Seuss was awarded a Pulitzer Prize, 7 honorary doctorates, and he sold hundreds of millions of copies of the best c
This is a story about how a young boy named Ted became the great Dr. Seuss. He was a young German immigrant whose mom has big hopes for her child. He didn’t really fit in as a kid because of his German background and his appreciation for strange costumes, but he eventually used that to his advantage in his stories.
This was an interesting story. I liked the history of it and the way it brought this author to life. I really got to know this man who really isn’t as abstract as his writing.
I would
Michael Rank
A quick overview of a detailed life

The book covers Geisel's youth and adulthood as two separate sections, with the youth section being a more fun read. You get to learn about his three-legged dog and his stuffed bear Theophrastus. The author creates a vivid picture of Geisel's young life.

But the author loses those details in the second half of the book when Krull tries to summarize Dr. Seuss' life works in a small amount of space. It's no easy feat and I give her credit for trying.

The illustra
Sep 03, 2015 Dulcie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent biography. Each page covers an important fact or event from Ted Giesel's life that contributed to who he became, with a tiny illustration from one of his books which correlated with it. A great example of someone who persevered in the face of adversity and who learned, "I gotta be me." I also loved how his future wife had a role in that. This was a beautifully illustrated, inspiring, sweet,entertaining read. My daughter and I loved it and even went on to read "the rest of the story" at ...more
Tricia Douglas
This was a great story about the life of Ted Geisel (Dr. Seuss). What was most impressive was the fact that his childhood was not easy because of the way he looked at the people and places around him. Kids thought he was strange. Writing books for adults was his goal, but we know today what he ended up doing - being a child's best friend. He "invented" the early reader and continued to use his exaggeration technique to write some of the best stories there are today. Even though this is a childre ...more
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
Apr 15, 2013 Nichole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 19, 2012 Angel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
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
Tori Davenport
This is a VERY cute book all about Ted Geisel growing up. It makes me happy to see a book like this, students should know the man behind the great stories that they love so much. This would be one of the best books to read on his birthday to commemorate him and teach kids all about him. It is also a great story for kids to hear about when they feel like they don't have anything to contribute, because they have their imagination and they can create amazing things in their life.
Riley Mooney
Mar 16, 2014 Riley Mooney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 11, 2016 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ted Geisel was known as the doofy boy on Fairfield Street, little did he know he was destined for greatness. This biographical partial book follows the events leading to the great Dr. Seuss. I found it very informative to the great imagination he had and how he didnt succeed at first. The pictures were a great addition to the text! The life of Mr. Geisel had a rocky start at first but it developed into something great and Krull really allowed us to capture that.
Alma Gonzalez
Nov 25, 2015 Alma Gonzalez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great story about the life of Ted Geisel, the boy who would one day become one of the most recognized author and illustrator. The story explains how Ted Geisel first became interested in drawing and writing creative poems that he decided to find a career where he could do what he loved. His work soon began to be published and he decided to go by the name Dr. Seuss, Seuss from his mothers maiden name and doctor, because his parents wanted him to become one.
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
It doesn't get much better than this as biographies go. This was engaging, informative, and thorough without overwhelming the reader. The illustrations were beautiful and colorful and peppered throughout were illustrations from Dr. Seuss's books. At the end was a full listing of Seuss's publications in the order that they were produced. The perfect book for the reader that wants to acquaint himself with this beloved author and illustrator.
Jennifer Shirley
Feb 27, 2016 Jennifer Shirley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about Ted Geisel, who we all know as Dr. Seuss, and tells, simply, how he became the author we all grew up with and whose books we still love. I got this book at the library book sale and it was well used, so I was glad to see children had enjoyed it. Now I want to share it with my grandchildren. But I will keep it and enjoy the paintings which illustrate it, done by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher.
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
Sandy Brehl
I've read several biographies of Dr. Seuss/Ted Geisel, and this one tops them all. Even for younger learners this works well as a read-aloud, but for independent readers it offers richly researched detail offered in fluent and entertaining language. The back matter is a bonus.
Lathleen Krull's biographies are guaranteed winners.
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