Dr. Seuss First Edition Identification

If I Ran The Zoo, 1950

1951 Caldecott Honor Award

Childrens Picturebook Price Guide: $1600 VG+

If I Ran The Zoo was the fourth post-war children’s book written and illustrated by Theodor Seuss Geisel, and eighth overall.

Dr. Seuss First Edition Identification Points If I Ran The Zoo

At this point in his career, Seuss was considered one of the top children’s book illustrators. From the back dust jacket flap:

“Although listed in Who’s Who as a man who juggles many careers, ranging from advertising and Movie Making to University Lecturing, Dr. Seuss is now spending more and more time at his favorite occupation – turning out wonderful nonsense for children.

As a result, the children of America are having more fun . . . getting more Seuss stories to read in magazines . . . getting more Seuss records to play on their phonographs.”

First Edition Identification Points:

Book: Copyright page with seven lines, as follows:

COPYRIGHT 1950 BY DR. SEUSS

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED UNDER INTERNATIONAL AND

PAN-AMERICAN COPYRIGHT CONVENTIONS

PUBLISHED IN NEW YORK BY RANDOM HOUSE, INC.

AND SIMULTANEOUSLY IN TORONTO, CANADA BY

RANDOM HOUSE OF CANADA LTD.

PRINTED IN THE U.S.A.

Dr. Seuss First Edition Identification Points If I Ran The Zoo

The true first printing has only seven lines. Second and later printings include an eighth line which references the Redbook Magazine appearance, as follows:

COPYRIGHT 1950 BY DR. SEUSS

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED UNDER INTERNATIONAL AND

PAN-AMERICAN COPYRIGHT CONVENTIONS

BASED ON MATERIAL WHICH ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN REDBOOK MAGAZINE.

PUBLISHED IN NEW YORK BY RANDOM HOUSE, INC.

AND SIMULTANEOUSLY IN TORONTO, CANADA BY

RANDOM HOUSE OF CANADA LTD.

PRINTED IN THE U.S.A.

Dr. Seuss First Edition Identification Points If I Ran The Zoo

We own a 2nd printing book with “200/200” price on the dust jacket, and it has the eight line copyright information, with the Redbook Magazine reference. We also own a circa 1954 edition of If I Ran The Zoo, with “250/250” price on the dust jacket, and it has the eight line copyright information. In addition, we also own a circa 1957 edition of If I Ran The Zoo, with “295/295” price on the dust jacket, and it also has the eight line copyright information. This reinforces the seven line copyright , absent the line with the Redbook Magazine reference, as the true first printing of the book.

[Note: This information differs from the Younger/Hirsch guide to identifying First Editions of Dr. Seuss Books, which indicates the eight line copyright is the first printing book. The Younger/Hirsch guide is an invaluable resource if you are a collector of first edition Dr. Seuss books, and is considered the definitive guide by collectors and booksellers. The Youngers have previously corrected the identification points to Horton Hears A Who as per our listing on their error page for the guide.]

Book back is the same as back DJ, seven previous Dr. Seuss titles listed chronologically, with Bartholomew and the Oobleck at the top, list ending with And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street.

Dr. Seuss First Edition Identification Points If I Ran The Zoo

Dust jacket: First printing price on top right front flap of “200/200”. Back DJ lists seven other books chronologically by Dr. Seuss, with Bartholomew and the Oobleck at the top, list ending with And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street.

Dr. Seuss First Edition Identification If I Ran The Zoo DJ Price

Dr. Seuss First Edition Identification If I Ran The Zoo DJ Flaps

The Junior Literary Guild Edition also has the correct seven line copyright page, with the omission of the Redbook reference.

 Dr. Seuss First Edition Identification Points If I Ran The Zoo

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© Stan Zielinski, author of the Children's Picturebook Price Guide, is a serious collector having fun with fun books.

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