By Clarissa Cruz
Updated July 16, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT

Long before marketers of Rugrats and Teletubbies regaled tykes with their glossy wares, the kiddie-book industry wasn’t averse to generating a little spin of its own. Dr. Seuss, for instance, was convinced that cover characters should make eye contact with buyers to give readers the sense ”that they know us and…are part of the experience.” Some covers, like 1958’s The Rabbits’ Wedding, sparked controversy (the illustration depicted a white rabbit and a black rabbit getting hitched). Harold Darling sprinkles these and other fascinating tidbits throughout his book, elevating From Mother Goose to Dr. Suess beyond mere pretty-book status. B

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