02.15.12 This is Ann...and she's dying to meet you!
When you think of Dr Seuss, do you think about federal documents? I won’t be offended if you don’t. However, the artwork of Dr Seuss actually appears in two of our documents!
Like many young men at that time, Dr Seuss served in the military during World War II. One thing that he did during his time there was to work as an illustrator on Army publications. One such item was This is Ann…and she’s dying to meet you. What is Ann and what does she want with you? Why, she’s a mosquito and she can give you malaria. Seuss (or Theodor Geisel, as he is officially known as) did not write this pamphlet, but one look at it will confirm to you that he illustrated it.
The booklet goes on to explain what Ann is (Anopheles Mosquito) and just what exactly she’ll do to you: “No whiskey, gin, beer or rum cokes for Ann…she drinks G.I. blood.” It’s full of all sorts of tricks to avoid her, and thus avoid malaria: use your mosquito net at night and mend any holes you may find. Use insect repellent (only $0.75!) and wear proper clothing. We’ve got this pamphlet in our collection. You can find it at pd 353.6 Un58e v.2, #57. However, if you’re anxious to take a look at it, you can look at it online! The Young Diptera Site (for the uninitiated, diptera is the order that flies – including mosquitoes – belong to) from the USDA has a digitized version of it on their website. This is not a true digital copy – you’ll see what I mean when you get there – but it does include all of the text and the Seussian illustrations. Possibly my favorite illustration in the booklet:
We’ve also got the same illustrations and text in Newsmap form. I plan on doing a future post on these fantastic maps, but in a nutshell, newsmaps were maps published by the War Department during World War II. They included maps and a news brief on one side, and illustrations on the other. Some illustrations would warn against spies, others would provide information about enemy insignia, and still others detailed the importance of disease prevention. Enter This is Ann. The text and illustrations appeared in full in a map published in 1943 (v.2, #29). Again, more on these fascinating documents later. You can find our Dr Seuss newsmap at pd 940.5305 N558 v.2,#29. Libraries that have these in Sudoc will have them at W 109.107:2/29 Oct 28-Nov 4 1943 (including our neighboring depository to the south, Indiana University-Bloomington). In the meantime, be sure to impress all your friends with your knowledge of this largely-unknown Dr Seuss treasure!
For previous entries, see the Archive.