Role Model to Superheroes: Ted Geisel (Dr. Seuss)

A Prayer for a Child is a hand-pulled serigraph on canvas, created from an original painting with an Arabic edition of 850. Each serigraph is accompanied by a copy of Seuss’s poem, “A Prayer for a Child.”

The December 23, 1955 issue of Collier’s Magazine devoted a full-color page to A Prayer for a Child, the only published piece in which Ted Geisel uncharacteristically breaks a self-imposed rule that his work not have religious connotations, which could alter their appeal for children of different faiths.

With that said, it is obvious that Ted Geisel cared deeply about the great issues of our age. His concerns were reflected time and again in the conceptual themes of his books. For example, Yertle the Turtle is about dictatorship and due process rights; The Sneetches, tolerance and discrimination; Horton Hears a Who!, individualism; How the Grinch Stole Christmas, holiday over-commercialization; and The Cat in the Hat, illiteracy and conformity.

The painting, A Prayer for a Child, stunning in its vibrant colors and captivating in its galactic point of view, has been painted from the perspective of one child’s small place in the universe. The prayer, spoken in first person on behalf of that child, makes the connection between their cozy home and the heavens.

From here on earth,
From my small place
I ask of You
Way out in space:
Please tell all men
In every land
What You and I
Both understand . . .
Please tell all men
That Peace is Good.
That’s all
That need be understood
In every world
In Your great sky.
(We understand.
Both You and I.)
(Thanks to the amazing Animazing Gallery for bringing this work to our attention.)