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P.D. Eastman book website

Animation storyman Phil Eastman (1909-1986) worked for Disney, Warner Bros., UPA, even Terrytoons during his career in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. But his biggest claim to fame has to be the series of Beginner Books he wrote and drew beginning in the late 1950s. Sam and The Firefly, Are You My Mother? A Fish Out of Water, and of course Go, Dog, Go! were certainly on my reading list at age 5. They influenced a lot of folks who later went into animation and comic art. I loved those books and still have my original battered copies.

Now Sue and Tony Eastman (Phil’s son, and one of the best animators in the business himself) have put together a new website dedicated to his father’s books. Tony writes:

Its purpose is to entertain/inform, and at the same time sell books. There really wasn’t a place where you could see all of his books together, plus we thought a short biography (appropriate for children) and a way to get in touch with his family would be useful. I put together the P.D. caricature on the home page from two self portraits he had done.

Unfortunately we couldn’t include The Cat in The Hat Beginner Book Dictionary “by the Cat himself and P. D. Eastman” on the site because the Dr. Seuss Estate (DSE) – as the owner of the copyright in the forward and owner of trademark rights in the character, would not grant permission for inclusion of this book on the website dedicated to the work of P. D. Eastman.

Also, we couldn’t include A Fish Out Of Water because The Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego says it is the copyright holder of Helen Palmer Geisel’s 50% interest and insists that the website show them as such, however, my mother and Geisel are listed as the copyright holders on the US Copyright website and on the copyright page of a recently purchased book. We can’t list the Museum without proof of assignment of the copyright to them.

This website is dedicated to P.D. but, since my books (Fred and Ted Go Camping and Fred and Ted Like To Fly) are sequels to Big Dog… Little Dog, we decided to make them available via a “BD… LD” page. Next summer I will have a new book out, and at that time we will launch a site devoted to my books!

  • Scarabim

    Oh, man, I remember Sam and the Firefly! One of my fave books as a kid, and I was hard to please. What a great idea to honor Eastman’s work with a website – his art can now be appreciated for its skill and humor, and not just as a vehicle to entertain children.

    BTW, Jerry, I re-watched my Pinocchio DVD yesterday – the Backstage Disney disc, to be exact, and you gotta be proud that you’re a part of it. It’s one of the best-put-together Disney DVDS ever. Just beautiful, moving, informative and unforgettable. The only drawback is that, because the Pinocchio DVD is so great, I had high expectations for the Snow White DVD. What a letdown! The extras were very scanty, to say the least. I understand that Disney saved all the good stuff for the Blu-Ray. What a rip! It’s too bad corporate greed had to lessen the enjoyment some consumers derived from Walt’s first classic. Feh!

  • Jump

    Our story teacher actually showed us Sam and the Firefly as a demonstration of a well structured story versus some other children’s book.

  • Jonah

    I think Are You My Mother? was the first book in which I paid real attention to the artwork back when I was a little kid. I loved the style!

  • tony eastman one of the best animators in the business, jerry? you got that right!!!

  • Ever since I was a little kid, I loved me some GO, DOG, GO!

  • David Breneman

    I always wonder what happened to my copy of “Go, Dog, Go!” That has to be the ur-kidsbook of the 1960s. I once taunted a friend of mine, who when excited will address his listener as “Man, dude…”

    Red dude, green dude, dude-man-dude!
    Big dude, little dude, dude-man dude!

    He didn’t get it. But then, he teaches web design at local college.

  • i spent a huuuuuuge part of my five years at j.j. sedelmaier productions keying, cleaning up, and inbetweening mr. eastman’s animation and can’t even begin to tell you how much i learned from that guy. utterly brilliant and the most humble, easy-going guy you’ll ever meet. i cherish those days when i’d deliver scenes to his loft in soho and we’d just sit there and talk about animation for hours on end.

    although it only took me a couple years to put two and two together and figure out that his dad was p.d. eastman! he never mentioned it!

  • Wow, I remember “Go, Dog, Go!” and “Are You My Mother?”. I loved those books! I hope I still have them somewhere so that I’ll be able to read them to my kids one day.

  • Gerard de Souza

    I love them all and have kept a few from when my kids were little. I loved reading Robert The Rose Horse and the kids loved hearing it over and over. It’s a compliment that Theodore Geisel got him aboard the read aloud books;I understand he was a tough editor.