"You'll never catch fish in McElligot's Pool!": First Edition, First Issue of Dr. Seuss' McElligot's Pool; Inscribed by Him
SEUSS, Dr (Theodor Geisel).
Item Number: 87546
New York: Random House, 1947.
First edition with the 250/250 price on the front flap as well as the $2.50 price added to the rear flap (state ‘c’) of the first Dr. Seuss title to feature full-color art on every other page. Quarto, original cloth, pictorial endpapers, illustrated throughout. Inscribed by the author, “For Mrs. Haye with very kindest regards- Dr. Seuss.” Near fine in a near fine dust jacket with light rubbing and wear. Uncommon signed and inscribed.
The story begins as a boy named Marco fishes in a small, trash-filled pond, McElligot's Pool. A local farmer laughs at the boy and tells him that he is never going to catch anything. Nevertheless, Marco holds out hope and begins to imagine a scenario in which he might be able to catch a fish. First, he suggests that the pool might be fed by an underground brook that travels under a highway and a hotel to reach the sea. Marco then imagines a succession of fish and other creatures that could be in the sea and therefore the pool. He imagines, among others, a fish with a checkerboard stomach, a seahorse with the head of an actual horse, and an eel with two heads. When Marco is done imagining, he tells the farmer, "Oh, the sea is a so full of a number of fish,/ If a fellow is patient, he might get his wish!" Geisel painted some of the water colors that illustrate McElligot's Pool while vacationing with his wife, Helen, at the summer home of their friend Kelvin Vanderlip, in southern California. The book was the first Dr. Seuss book to use water colors for its illustrations; however, because of budget concerns, Random House published half of the book in black and white, alternating between two pages in color and two pages in black and white. It became a Junior Literary Guild selection and garnered Dr. Seuss his first Caldecott Honor.