Bartholomew and the Oobleck


I’m part of a Brooklyn-based children’s book illustrator group. In between meetings, we give ourselves assignments. The first one was to illustrate a page from a Dr. Seuss book.

Hmmm…Tough one. Most Dr. Seuss books are well-familiar and in no need of revamping. But, at the Brooklyn Public Library, I found Bartholomew and the Oobleck, a title I’d never heard of.

Published eight years before The Cat in the Hat, it’s illustrated in the Seussian style but doesn’t rhyme. Dr. Seuss (a.k.a. Theodor Geisel) said the inspiration for the story came from a conversation he overheard while stationed in Belgium during World War II. During a rainstorm, a soldiers griped, “Rain, always rain. Why can’t we have something different for a change?”  The “something different” that Geisel imagined was oobleck, a green goo.

The original Dr. Seuss illustrations are black and white, with bright green spot color for the oobleck. I tried putting green in this but it just looked weird.


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