Published: Feb. 26, 2016

Theodor Seuss Geisel–more widely known as Dr. Seuss–is famous for authoring whimsical and popular children’s books. Many people don’t know that he joined the Army as a Captain in 1943 as a part of the First Motion Picture Unit based in Hollywood and created propaganda and training films. It was during this time that he also created a booklet to educate troops on malaria.

The booklet, This is Ann: She’s dying to meet you, provides detailed information–along with his characteristic illustrations–about preventing malaria during a time when the antimalarial drug quinine was being blocked by Germany. The name “Ann” in the title refers to anopheles, a genus of mosquito.

mosquito drawing by Dr. Seuss
The mosquito featured in the booklet called “This is Ann… She’s dying to meet you”

In addition to the pamphlet, Dr. Seuss also created a world map showing the risks of contracting malaria, which features Ann and some general information about the disease. This map appeared on the reverse side of the Newsmap from Monday, November 8, 1943.

The Earth Sciences & Map Library is celebrating Dr. Seuss’s birthday, March 2nd, with a display featuring the malaria map and booklet, along with some of his other works, until Thursday, March 24th. The Earth Sciences & Map Library is located in the Benson Earth Sciences building. Please check the Libraries’ website for hours.

map of malaria risk
Malaria map featured in a Newsmap during 1943