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Gerald McBoing Boing

June11, 2009

In 1951, Dr. Seuss released a charming little LP-recorded tale of a boy who spoke only in sound effects and never words. A round-headed youngster in a baseball cap, Gerald McBoing Boing quickly became one of the most fascinating and unique Seuss characters around.

In fact, animation studio United Productions of America (UPA) produced a cartoon based on the boy, which won an animation Oscar.

The story goes thusly, poor little Gerald McCoy, normal in every other imaginable way, finds that on his second birthday--when most other children begin forming whole words--that all he can and will say are strange little outbursts like, "Bam!" and "Boing Boing!"

His father has the family doctor check Gerald out, but to their chagrin, his "condition" is incurable. His adventure begins there, as he navigates life as a curious outcast before accepting himself and his differences for what they are.

Post-Academy Award, the cartoon spun off into a 13-episode television show which aired during the 1956-57 season. He was also featured in a Dell comic title with another UPA staple, Mr. Magoo. But when the fifties ended, so did Gerald McBoing Boing's mass appeal.

You can still find the Gerald McBoing Boing children's book title in most major bookstores, as Random House re-released the tale in 2000.

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