To Do

A Book of Alphabets and Birthdays

By Gertrude Stein; Giselle Potter (Illustrator); Timothy Young (Introduction by)
(Yale University Press, Hardcover, 9780300170979, 128pp.)

Publication Date: May 2011

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Description

"Alphabets and names make games and everybody has a name and all the same they have in a way to have a birthday," muses Gertrude Stein in "To Do: A Book of Alphabets and Birthdays." Written in 1940 and intended as a follow-up to her children's book "The World Is Round," published the previous year, "To Do" is a fanciful journey through the alphabet. Each letter is represented by four names (including Gertrude for "G") and features a short story told in verse. " This is] a birthday book I would have liked as a child," said Stein of "To Do."

Publishers rejected the manuscript as too complex for children, and it remained unpublished during Stein's lifetime. A text-only version issued from Yale University Press in 1957. Now, more than seventy years after Stein penned the story, "To Do" is appearing with illustrations, realizing the author's original concept for the book. Giselle Potter's witty and stylish illustrations provide a perfect complement to Stein's uniquely whimsical world of words, creating a truly delightful, often hilarious book that adults and children alike can appreciate and love.




About the Author
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946) was born in Pittsburgh to a prosperous German-Jewish family. She was educated in France and the United States, worked under the pioneering psychologist William James, and later studied medicine. With her brother Leo she was an important patron of the arts, acquiring works by many contemporary artists, most famously Picasso, while her home became a popular meeting place for writers and painters from Matisse to Hemingway. Her books include Three Lives, Tender Buttons, and The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas.

Giselle Potter is the author and illustrator of "The Year I Didn't Go to School, " which is based upon her travels around Italy with her family's theater troupe at age seven. She is also the illustrator of "The Brave Little Seamstress" and "Kate and the Beanstalk, " both by Mary Pope Osborne, "The Honest-to-Goodness Truth" by Patricia C. McKissack, and "Gabriella's Song" by Candace Fleming. Ms. Potter lives in Rosendale, New York.

Timothy Young is a poet and retired educator in juvenile corrections. His book, Herds Of Bears Surround Us, was published by Red Dragonfly Press in 2010. He has recorded three CDs of poetry and his poem 'Mississippi Ecstasy' was set for a big band jazz suite by composer, Dan Cavanagh. He is chairman of the Board of Directors for Robert Bly's Minnesota Men's Conferences.
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