How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is a children's story by Dr. Seuss written in rhymed verse with illustrations by the author. It was published as a book by Random House in 1957, and at approximately the same time in an issue of Redbook. The book criticizes the commercialization of Christmas and satirizes those who profit from exploiting the holiday.
The Grinch, a fictional, bitter, cave-dwelling, catlike creature with a heart "two sizes too small," lives on snowy Mount Crumpit, a steep, 3,000-foot (910 m) high mountain just north of Whoville, home of the merry and warm-hearted Whos. His only companion is his faithful dog, Max. From his perch high atop Mount Crumpit, the Grinch can hear the noisy Christmas festivities that take place in Whoville. Envious of the Whos' happiness, he makes plans to descend on the town and, by means of burglary, deprive them of their Christmas presents, holiday ham and decorations and thus "prevent Christmas from coming." However, he learns in the end that despite his success in stealing all the Christmas presents and decorations from the Whos, Christmas comes just the same. He then realizes that Christmas is more than just gifts and presents. His heart grows three sizes larger; he returns all the presents and trimmings and is warmly welcomed into the community of the Whos.
The town of Whoville and the mountain on which the Grinch lives were based on the Town of Easthampton, Massachusetts, and the overlooking mountain named Mount Tom. Easthampton and Mount Tom are just north of Springfield, Mass., where Dr. Seuss grew up.
Chuck Jones adapted the story as an animated special in 1966, featuring narration by Boris Karloff, and songs sung (uncredited) by Thurl Ravenscroft. The animated film often appears on American television during the Christmas season.
In 1975, Zero Mostel narrated an LP record of the story.
The book was translated into Latin as Quomodo Invidiosulus Nomine Grinchus Christi Natalem Abrogaverit: How the Grinch Stole Christmas in Latin by Jennifer Morrish Tunberg with the assistance of Terence O. Tunberg in 1997.
A musical stage version was produced by the Old Globe Theatre, San Diego, in 1998. It also was produced on Broadway and is scheduled for a limited-engagement US tour in 2008.
Full article ▸